This was written by Pendulum columnist Rebecca Cummings.

How do we prepare for the end of the year?

Most students would probably agree there is no real time to stop and think about it. Students can be found in the library at least 75 percent of their waking hours, in the back corner writing multiple research papers or preparing for projects and presentations. Some are probably praying the end of the year slows down just so they can have a chance to finish all their work.

It is a busy time for all. For some, the first year of college is over. For others, graduation is coming up. It is time to say goodbye to new friends. In the words of a friend of mine, “It isn’t goodbye. It is ‘later’ because ‘goodbye’ means I will never see you again.” It is hard to say “goodbye” or “later” to those who will graduate May 21 because we do not know when we will get another chance to see them again. Life is starting for them. This time next year, the graduates will most likely be employed or will be in graduate school. They will be adults in the real world.

This summer, some of the rest of us will be abroad, on vacation, fulfilling internships or working. We will enjoy our summers, full of laughter and maybe some extra cash. We will have new memories and come back to school refreshed to start another academic year. Life flies by. We can’t stop it. Each day closes a page of our lives. Each new day gives us the chance to live out something new.

College ultimately prepares us for real life. We learn about friendship, living with others, responsibility, cramming, just existing as human beings. My first year is almost done. I am not happy about it. I am looking forward to the future, but I am OK with waiting. Life is good. We should enjoy it.

For those who still have a year or more left in college, we need to enjoy every day of it. Soon, we will be like those seniors who will cross the stage May 21. Many seniors will probably say they are ready to be done with school, but they aren’t ready for the real world.

To the seniors, we will miss you. You have left your impression on Elon University. Good luck in the real world, whether it be the Peace Corps, Young Life, graduate school or whatever job you’re taking. Congratulations. You have successfully completed four years of college. Now, the real world is calling. We all must get there eventually.