The Four Seniors You’ll Meet in College

As a college senior, I have spent this year observing the various paths my friends and peers plan to take after graduation. While the categories I have come up with are certainly not all encompassing, here are some observations:

The Four Types of College Seniors

1). “The Plan”

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            Not only does The Plan know what he or she is going to do all summer, whether it is an already-established internship with ABC News or a brush-up chemistry course to prepare for med school and future residencies, but “The Plan” also has the next decade mapped out. The Plan may be looking ahead to two years of graduate school until getting a Master’s degree, then teaching in the elementary school down the block for a year years, and going back to school to earn a PhD. Or perhaps after six years of med school, The Plan will go on to complete his or her residencies, then plans on settling down with a long-term boyfriend or girlfriend of at least four years; let’s face it, we all knew years ago these two were going to get married. The students who don’t fall under this category are all envious of The Plan’s ability to have everything mapped out, causing the others to question their own decision-making processes.

2). “The Golden Child”

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            The Golden Child is all set to take on his or her new role at a parents’ company in the fall and his or her parents couldn’t be more pleased. In the future, the Golden Child and his or her significant other will have a pre-established house in a nice resort-town, a gift from the Golden Child’s parents. This student worked hard in school, but now it’s time to make his or her parents proud by allowing everything that’s been mapped out for him or her fall into place. Everyone is a bit envious of this student for his or her ability to cooperate and gracefully accept the roles he or she may be expected to fulfill.

3). “The Party”

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            The Party doesn’t plan on gradating just yet and at least not for another two years. After all, 21 is still a young age, so why not take on a few more minors to stay in school longer? Some younger friends will still be around to carry on the party and, looking back, not yet entering the real world doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. There will be plenty of time to go to work. The Party’s friends loves returning to campus to visit their old friend The Party, not only for the nostalgia reentering his or her apartment will bring, but also, because it reminds them they need to loosen up a bit. Students envy The Party for this ability especially because, in the end, everything does end up working out for The Party.

       4. The Dreamer

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            When relatives ask The Dreamer what he or she plans on doing after graduation, his or her simple answer is “I have absolutely no idea.” Yet despite lacking a clear or definite path, The Dreamer is completely sure of what he or she loves doing and knows that in time, any pursuit reflecting these interests will bring joy to his or her life. The Dreamer, who is not enrolled in a school in the fall and is not in a long term relationship, is considering traveling the world all summer or even taking a gap year, like many students in countries such as Australia or England do; The Dreamer secretly wishes his or her own country was more accepting of gap years because it will be a fulfilling decision. He or she most likely majored in liberal arts, loves to write or produce art and plans on following these interests either while abroad or during the summer The Dreamer tries to determine what the next step is. The students who don’t fall into this category all envy The Dreamer for being so happy and in the end, everything usually works out perfectly for this student.

Which one are/were you? If, at the time you were a college senior, you were not satisfied with the category you fell into, which one do you wish you had fallen into at that point in your life?

Stereotypes are not always fair; what about these four options do you think is accurate or inaccurate? Do you think many of them arguably be blended together?

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63 Responses to The Four Seniors You’ll Meet in College

  1. ronfeir says:

    Nice work! Please follow my blogs.

  2. I was a combination of the dreamer and the planner. And it paid off because six months after graduation I got my dream job. Although that could have been luck too

  3. Yes, I’ve been dreaming all along. I didn’t know then and I don’t know now what I wanted to do for a living. I do know what I love doing and do it everyday, some artistic pursuit, no relationship, but not quite traveling either. I still work at the kind of work I did to get me through school, because what it allowed me to do was write books, make art, express myself. I was a speech major, then a photo major, I wrote for the school paper, then the largest daily, but I didn’t like to be told what to write, because the truth was what I saw and how I saw it, so I had no place there.

    I’ve spent years serving the cause of others. I’ve nearly paid off my house, plan to buy a 3/4-plex and rent out the other units and live in one. If I don’t hurry I might not be able to swing it, but I am also slowly taking pictures of all my works, which I will sell to friends and family. I will paint the place and change the carpets. Once I sell my place, I will look for another.

    Once it is all done and I have recovered. I am going to write or do something important, always relating to justice and freedom and/or truth and beauty.

    Sometimes, I wish I were those other people, but it didn’t work out perfectly for them either.

    Today, I rode my bike from 12:30PM-5PM. I went up hills and down hills. My colleague said we traveled probably the height of Mt. Diablo and probably rode 35 miles, from Walnut Creek to the top of Redwood and Skyline Boulevards, back down Pinehurst and then home again. I work tomorrow. All I want to do is read Immanuel Kant and sit in a cafe. I need a room with a view and a bathroom and kitchen. Life is a series of blissful thoughts. I wish you all well.

  4. Hi Christine, I tried the other path…got my girlfriend pregnant at 16 (I was also 16), took any job I could get my hands on, got married at 17. Over the years I drifted into jobs that paid well but not what you would call satisfying. And after 25 yrs, got divorced, and THEN did the dreamer bit to find my truth. And did I find it (as you know from my blog). I think a journey is a journey and it will always come down to how you approach it, an attitude if you will, that will give you the best chance of finding that truth that we all yearn to find. To love, and love truly. And that doesn’t eventually happen till we have experienced the many loves of life, and finally realise it is within that we have missed. That one thing that we avoid due to not having a good self worth, and when we do realise it, understand that when we finally do love ourselves that all else falls away. It is that final destination to understand unconditional love. Now THAT is a career path :)
    P.S. Glad you liked your journey to Australia! Come back anytime :)

    • Hi Mark! I really enjoyed reading this comment. I think it was so well-put and it’s evident that you’re at a great place in your life right now :) It’s so true that it’s all about the journey and we learn from our mistakes! I really did love Australia and would love to come back!

  5. I was a dreamer too. I’m not surprised there seem to so many here, the planners and golden children are too busy to read/write blogs, and the party animal is still off partying somewhere. :) Best to you!
    BB

  6. I started off as “The Plan” and then one week before applying for graduate school became “The Dreamer!” I don’t regret it one bit!

  7. emilymrich says:

    I’m senior and a planner. And a wanna be dreamer. ahhh to not know what the future holds and be okay with that. Must be nice!

  8. Miss.Poot says:

    I am definitely the dreamer. Without that dream time, I wouldn’t have figured out exactly what I want to do in life!

  9. I was definitely a dreamer with a hint of planner. But I can categorize all the people I know using these haha. Great post!

  10. lruthnum says:

    Haha great post – I definitely started out as the Plan, then because the Party and then finished uni as the Plan, but now I feel more like the Dreamer – perhaps we transition through each of these stages in life because we all have those moments where we have no idea what we are doing with our lives.

  11. Hey! This isn’t really in reference to this post, but I just needed to say I LOVE this blog!! Good work, keep it up! It’s so happy xxx

  12. I was the planner. I broke up with the clear path boyfriend of four years though.

  13. btg5885 says:

    Christine, I love this. Nice work in capturing several personality styles. BTG

  14. Borderlion says:

    I’m not any of them! I felt really hopeless in my final year because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and my mental health was bad. I guess I was ‘the panicker’!

  15. michael2232 says:

    I got one.. The science nerd. The student that is too occupied with physics and math. So much so that they don’t have time to do much else. Haha.. This was me. I am just a couple of weeks from graduating now. I’ve enjoyed every minute. I would say I have also been a little bit of a planner and dreamer. Sometimes I wish I spent a little more time partying, haha. But I have no complaints! Good post!

  16. haleylove says:

    As a fashion design student with little intention of designing actual clothes and about 7 different “plans” i’d say I’m the dreamer and I love it that way! Thanks for the laughable, relatable post!

  17. bamauthor says:

    Good post…at the time I was the planner, but suddenly after completing my Master’s I decided to get married and become the dreamer. A few years later, I became the planner again….Now that I am retired, I am pretty much a combination of the planner and the dreamer.

  18. mykombiandi says:

    What an interesting post, It really has hit a cord with me and where I am at in life at the moment. I was not a college senior, I am a Tradesperson, electrician. However when I finished year 12 i went to TAFE (Australia) to study “Film and Television” as this was “My Dream”. Then I realised that there was not much work in Perth Western Australia in that industry so I decided to become an Electrician so I could have a “Day Job” and work in Film when work came to Perth. Then I became “The Planner”, I got caught up in “Living the Australian Dream” and lost track of “My Dreams”. 2010 was the start of my life changing. We moved cities and I was given the oppurtunity to get back to “My Dreams”. I went back into acting in community theatre and this led my wife and I to sell everything and travel the world for 6 months. Now I am striving to live my dreams again. for the first time in my life I am not certain about what I want to do and have no real idea about how to achieve it. This time is so exciting, I just can not wait to see where life takes me??? Sorry for rambling on a little there. Its just that your post really meant something to me and I needed to blurt this out. Thank you so much for this post. I wish you all the best.
    Shane

  19. gapark says:

    I was a Dreamer Freshman–I dropped out after a year and got married. Finally finished my degree 25 years and 4 kids later! Living the Dream! Gail

  20. pbolton16 says:

    I was a slash, planner / dreamer. I dreamed about a plan. I did a lot of talking and less action. I loved to talk about the plan, but what I lacked was a mentor. I needed someone other than my parents to guide me. Parents can’t do this as well as others in our lives. My first job I winged and wound up still doing well in B2B sales. I went on to work for another large company based out of Cincy with no clue. I really stumbled into it. This was also the time I decided a masters degree was pointless because I was making 60k at 27. Yeah I was a real “baller”. What a joke. My personal / professional balance was off. I was all about work and me. 5 years and then I had nothing because of changes and was no longer employed. I lost a marriage in that same year. See what I never figured out was that it wasn’t all about me. Life carried on for others with me or without me. I was a taker. I took a salary, a company car, a marriage, a family , bonuses , vacations because I deserved it! <- I was not grateful for any of it, until it was all gone. And it was, just like that. My life is rich today, but it took me until about 32 to figure things out. I graduated in 2001! The path/ plan had one flawed part , Me. It wasn't about what I was doing while in my job mode, it was about what I wasn't doing when I was not working. I never read, I never looked for balance, I never sought out anything that would make me a better person. All that was lame. So I was left with myself. I'm okay with that today. It had to happen. Whatever you destination is after your grad date, don't do what I did. You will resent it. Do what I didn't do.

  21. Jenna Matzer says:

    I was a mix between the Dreamer and the Stresser Outter (I decided to make that one up)…I spent the entire summer after I graduated stressing out, every day, about finding a job in the state that the economy was in at that time. I quickly learned that motivation, hard work and stepping outside your comfort zone will land you a job in no time. Good luck in your last year of college/job search…but most importantly, have fun! These are years that you will miss greatly, so don’t let them fall by the wayside.

  22. singingspeck says:

    It’s very interesting to read your categories . There are so many ways to arrange people. For me, having pre- conceived ideas about who a person is, stops me from listening to who they are, so I try not to do that. Here’s one way of learning about people that might be of interest to you. http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/02/19/vaux-dialect-quiz

  23. I was the dreamer as well and still 3 years after, I am a dreamer. I have lived many of my dreams like moving out west and travelling to Europe. I am adding more and more dreams, and turning into a planner so I can fit everything in these passing years. Nice post.

  24. Vanessa says:

    I was certainly a planner but now my dreamer streak is coming out!

  25. themusicbow says:

    I definitely saw some of these personalities on campus during my last year. I was the planner and a bit of the dreamer because I had my plans set for a year after graduation, but gave myself a year to do travel/relax/do whatever I wanted.

  26. I was a planner with a dream to become a teacher. Forty-three years later I’m still a teacher, but using the ‘net as my classroom. Keep up your good work and interesting writing. But more than anything, keep watching as God directs your path along this journey called “life.” John 3:16

    • That’s awesome you always knew you wanted to be a teacher and stuck to it :) So nice to hear that! And thank you so much for your kind words; I’m glad I found your blog.

      • Me too – please pass the word around :) I’m always looking for new topics to share with new followers. I’m still teaching – I’m helping in 3rd grade classrooms once a week and going to teach children from China again this summer.

      • I definitely will and that sounds so exciting about teaching in China! Good for you :)

      • I’m not teaching in China. The students, ages 8-12, come here to FL for 3 weeks. They stay with “host families” to learn about American culture. I get to explain conversational English using a curriculum from Educatiion First. This is my 3rd summer doing this. I am so blessed.

      • Oh, that’s really neat! That sounds like so much fun and can’t beat being in Florida either :)

  27. dcabrera490 says:

    I don’t think there is an in-between. You are what you are. I would put myself in that dreamer category. There is no definitive plan yet, but I feel like the sky is the limit for me. Nice work on this and thanks for following my blog!

  28. Margo Blue says:

    Girl, I TOTALLY LOVE THIS! By the way, I am definitely The Dreamer.. I’m smiling even now as I write this. Very good read. :-) Which one are you?

  29. I was the dreamer, who fell into being the planner once it became clear to me that as as a young character actor, I wouldn’t get much work til I got much older. I created a dream biz, which I cherished, out of little more than my gift of gab. It lasted 30 years. My mind wandered back to the dreamer I once was. I sold all my equipment, closed my Biz and am pursuing a singing career.

    I believe everything happens for a reason. I had a client of 29 years screw me out of 16k, thinking I would let it slide. I could have damaged their worldwide reputation to with financial repercussions to them. But instead I chose to walk away from all of it! I am so happy I did. I also know that for every negative in your life, I’d you wait long enough you will see an exponentially greater positive! I never dreamt 4 years ago that I would be singing and blogging.

    You are an absolutely delightful young lady from what I can tell. I’ve no doubt that whatever path you choose you will succeed. Don’t ever be afraid to dream the dream and live it. The joy if doing it will see you thru it some how.

  30. Pingback: Bloggin’ Recap: February 16th-22nd |

  31. Lora Kathryn says:

    Haha, soooo true! Love it! I’m half planner, half dreamer. And so I blog!

  32. Pingback: Bloggin' Recap: February 16th-22nd | The Day Dreamer and Candy EaterThe Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

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