10 Struggles Every College Senior Knows to Be True

By Katie Sears


It’s that time of year: College graduation. For three and half years all you’ve wanted to do is get as far away from campus and school-related responsibilities as possible;  now you’re crying yourself to sleep worried that the ‘real world’ might be a little bit too real for you. Staying focused in school while simultaneously trying to figure out the rest of your life seems damn near impossible, and no amount of ‘You can do it!’s from mom will help.

If it makes you feel any better, we’re all in the same rickety boat.


  1. Finding a job is a Catch 22.
    You’re trying to find a job so that you can make money, but you need money to get to the job. Moving out, storing your stuff, and finding a new place to live all require a significant amount of cash..cash that you probably should have started saving as a freshman, but instead blew on BeatsByDre headphones and 3am Taco Bell runs.
    confused
  2.  Student loans have to be paid back. Like, now.
    Financial aid is great while you’re in school, but the day you graduate marks the day you will forever be indebted to the government and to your university.
    bullcrap
  3. You realize you may never, ever see your college friends again.
    It seems like everyone you know is moving to a far-away state, country or continent. The friendships you’ve fostered over the last four years will abruptly end, and it’s one of the saddest things about being a senior.
    cryingg
  4. Senioritis.
    Imagine the senioritis you felt in high school and multiply it by ten million. Then add 40. I wouldn’t wish the last five weeks of senior semester on my worst enemy.
    living life
  5. Final Exams.I’m not just talking about the exams during finals week that cover the last semester; I’m talking about CapStone classes, major field tests and other exams that will likely determine the rest of your life, like the MCAT, PCAT and the bar exam. It’s even worse when the test costs money. I thought paying to take a test in a classroom was called tuition?
    hate everything
  1. Not being confident about your degree.
    That moment you realize you actually hate your degree and it’s not what you really want to do. And then the moment you realize you are really passionate about your degree and don’t want to work in any other field. The daily back-and-forth is exhausting.
    exhausting
  1. You have a lot of stuff. And only one car.
    While you’ve spent the last three years decorating your home to better resemble the one you left behind, you never really considered the massive amount of space these things take up. Combine that with the fact that you only have one car, and moving becomes a lot more daunting than it already was.
    imdone
  2. Your dream job most likely won’t be your first job.
    You start accepting that your dream of changing the world and becoming one of Forbes’ 40 under 40 might have to wait a couple of years. Suddenly, just being an assistant doesn’t sound so bad if it means you’ll have a paycheck at the end of the month.
    pay day pickitup
  1. Time is running out.
    There are still a million things you haven’t done on campus/in town/ in your state and suddenly you want -no NEED- to do all of them, like that popular hike you passed up on because you were hungover or that weird restaurant that sells avocado-flavored ice cream. FOMO starts to seriously set in at this point.
    nap
  1. We see articles like this:
    Why Millenials Have a Tough Time Landing Jobs – CNBC
    Millenials Have Nothing to Celebrate When it Comes to Employment – Forbes
    40% of Unevmployed Workers are Millenials – MarketWatch
    drinking

All. The. Time.

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The 5 Best Coffee Shops to Study at in Missoula

Whether you’re a student at the University of Montana, an entrepreneur working to get a proposal together, or a business professional who needs the perfect place to meet with clients, these are the 5 best places to get whatever it is you need to get done in Missoula. Based on quality of coffee, Wi-Fi, and overall environment: Is your favorite coffee shop on the list?

Liquid Planet

7:30am-9:00pm, Everyday

Picture of the Liquid Planet storefront in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Liquid Plant

The first place I ever “studied” at in Missoula was a wonderful place called Liquid Planet. I think the name speaks for itself, and while the Wi-Fi connection has thankfully increased in reliability and strength over the years, the beverage selection has always been top quality. Great coffee and tea for any taste bud, and a wide variety of other beverages to shop around for, all make Liquid Planet a must-frequent venue if you are a Missoulian. Plus, there is a secret area in the back corner you can reserve for meetings or for studying in peace.

Market on Front

7:00am-9:00pm, Monday-Saturday
8:00am-7:00pm, Sunday

A visual of the unique seating area in Market on Front
Photo Credit: Market on Front

Relatively new and closer to campus, the Market on Front offers more than just coffee and a place to sit. It’s a one-stop-shop with a little grocery section and delicious prepared foods. Great quality Wi-Fi with limited seating makes a fan of this place hope that they are looking to expand in the near future. If you are looking to impress a client from out of town, this is the place to do it. And if you’re lucky, the owner may be around to deliver your mouth watering Chicken Florentine sandwich to you within minutes of ordering (this has happened to me on more than one occasion.)

City Brew Coffee

5:30am-9:30pm, Monday-Saturday
6:00am-9:30pm, Sunday
Downtown location closes at 9:00pm

View from the outside of the City Brew Coffee downtown Missoula location
Photo Credit: City Brew Coffee

Before conducting my research, City Brew Coffee never crossed my mind as a place to study in Missoula because honestly I had never been there before. Considered one of the coffee shops with high quality of coffee, City Brew will literally keep your mind (and your taste buds) happy. The variety in seating, relaxing music, and calming decorative colors will keep you focused for hours. If you find that it is difficult to get a parking spot downtown, try their new location off of Brooks! Plenty of room to park and an amazing fire place to cozy up by. Not to mention a very friendly staff.

Break Espresso

6:00am-10:00pm, Everyday

View from the outside of Break Espresso in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Sabrina Huang

This seems to be everyone’s favorite place to “get stuff done”. Break Espresso’s main selling point is not it’s coffee, but the seemingly unlimited amount of seating, reliable Wi-Fi, and baked goods are it’s irresistible combo. This place is always busy, so bring your headphones, grab a piece of pie, and get your productivity on!

Zootown Brew

8:00am-8:00pm, Monday-Friday
9:00am-8:00pm, Saturday
1:00pm-8:00pm, Sunday
Open until 10:00pm during Finals Week!

View of the outside of Zootown Brew in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Zootown Church

I went through a phase where I would only meet for group projects at Zootown Brew. There is plenty of seating (as well as comfy couches), and it’s so spacious that there is enough privacy to actually discuss your work with a group. Quality Wi-Fi and a hot coffee will keep you happy while you work. And when the caffeine finally runs out, you’ll have a perfectly comfy couch to go and relax on. After all that hard work you put in, you deserve it!

Honorable Mention: Florence Coffee Co.

6:00am-6:00pm, Everyday

View from the outside of one of Florence Coffee's locations
Photo Credit: Florence Coffee Co.

Technically, you can’t sit at the drive through and do your homework. The person behind you may get mad when you don’t move after 5 minutes. But I couldn’t create a list of Missoula coffee shops without mentioning the best coffee in town. If you’d rather study at the library, at home, or at work, swing by one of Florence Coffee’s three locations in Missoula and get a coffee on the go. My suggestion for coffee lovers with a sweet tooth: The Heaven Latte. The name says it all.

 

Did I miss your favorite study spot? Let me know by commenting below. Now, go get stuff done!

Photo Credit: KeepCalmomatic
Photo Credit: KeepCalmomatic

 

A special thanks to everyone who provided their input in my research, and most especially: Jessie Rogers, Savannah Witt, Paytyn Wheeler, Katherine Vincent, Brooke Moody, and Joelle.