Scrolling Headlines:

UMass Votes Coalition hosts voter registration event -

September 28, 2016

Brettell presents on U.S. immigration policies -

September 28, 2016

UMass field hockey team seeks revenge against undefeated UConn -

September 28, 2016

UMass running back Marquis Young looks to build off momentum gained against Mississippi State -

September 28, 2016

UMass hockey announces captains for 2016-17 season -

September 28, 2016

Andy Isabella finds his niche within the UMass football offense -

September 28, 2016

The EpiPen Crisis: How did this happen? -

September 28, 2016

Cymbals Eat Guitars evolve and impress on “Pretty Years” -

September 28, 2016

Artifex Pereo’s “Passengers” is an otherworldly, haunting ride -

September 28, 2016

Bastille perfectly encapsulates the “Wild World” we live in -

September 28, 2016

Candlelight vigil held to mourn deaths of victims of police violence -

September 27, 2016

UMass hosts William A. Douglass for lecture and chair in Basque cultural studies -

September 27, 2016

Amherst Select Board discusses imposing fines on those who violate water usage ban -

September 27, 2016

UMass tennis opens season on high note with performance at Brown Invitational -

September 27, 2016

UMass women’s soccer using long break to prepare for Atlantic 10 play -

September 27, 2016

Notebook: Ford ‘takes step forward,’ Williams appears on SportsCenter -

September 27, 2016

UMass cross country and track and field coach Ken O’Brien hits half century mark with program -

September 27, 2016

A-10 soccer notebook: Duquesne shuts out Robert Morris 1-0 to win fourth straight -

September 27, 2016

The blue light situation: When is enough, enough? -

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Survivor; awesome yet evil -

September 27, 2016

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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