Scrolling Headlines:

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

Senior to Senior Citizen

Alex Mojcher/Collegian

Being a senior in college comes with a lot of new territory.  I didn’t expect being mistaken for the crypt keeper would be a part of it.

As I waited outside a freshmen dorm earlier this week, a most unexpected question came my way.

“Do you need to be buzzed in, ma’am?” a freshman with a cigarette asked me.

Surely she hadn’t just called me “ma’am?” It’s a term 30 year olds dread hearing at the Starbucks counter from their college-age baristas, not one you’d expect to hear on campus, let alone from one student to another.

I stood there, freezing and flabbergasted.  My attempts to respond culminated in “uh, um, I mean, my friend, he, um,” before she waved her UCard in front of the sensor and let me in. My friends tried to calm me down, suggesting that the poor girl was only trying to show some respect for her elders. Their attempts did not help.

The real issue here isn’t that this girl treated me like I was some misguided mother waiting for her daughter outside of Van Meter Hall on a Saturday night, although I may still harbor some antipathy on the issue. In reality, I do have to deal with the fact that I am getting “older,” just like the rest of my classmates graduating in the spring.

The last year of college brings more questions than conclusions. What will I do with my degree? Will I find a job? Will I have to move back in with my parents? Is graduate school right for me or will I try to tackle the treacherous job market?

As a senior, I’m taking a full course load while studying for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), applying to law schools and working roughly 20 hours each week. I’m expected to see my friends on a regular basis, attend football tailgates and  go out for drinks once I’m finally 21. Somewhere in there I’m also supposed to apply for summer jobs and internships, which I’ll be doing across two continents. Senior year is not a question of enjoying your last days of college, but one of figuring out what to do with your life post-graduation.

The New York Times reports  employment rates for recent college graduates are at their lowest in years and the lucky few who do find a job are being paid lower salaries. A good number of us will be moving back into our childhood bedrooms come June. I know people who have applied to upwards of two dozen jobs without a single response. I don’t know what city I’ll be in next year or if I’ll be earning money researching policy for a nonprofit organization or at the ice skating rink I’ve worked at every summer since high school.

Even with these uncertainties, senior year does have its bright sides. I’m looking forward to hockey season and hearing  I have been accepted to the law school of my choice with a full scholarship. I’m happy to spend the little time I have left in the Pioneer Valley with the amazing friends I’ve made in four years at this University.

But if another freshman ever refers to me as “ma’am” before the year is out, I cannot guarantee I will make it to graduation without crying in front of Van Meter Hall on a Saturday night.

Rachel Tumin is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at rtumin@student.umass.edu.

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