5 Ways to Deal with Graduating

Well, Class of 2017, the time has come. Four years have come and gone and it is time to enter the real world. A world that is full of opportunity, adulthood and happy hours. Granted, while all of that sounds amazing, the road getting there is absolutely stressful–purgatory as some people call it. And yes, knowing that you will no longer have to sit a general education course is wonderful, but let's be honest–you would rather sit through one more month of classes just to postpone your abrupt entrance into the real world. From senioritis to feeling the urge to do everything that you won't be able to do once you graduate makes this time stressful. Period.  But here are some ways to get through it.

1. Keep It Moving.

If you find yourself falling into the void of Netflix-binging and wallowing in self pity because you just wasted 4 hours, then it is time to get moving. Sitting like this and doing nothing will only stress you out more and make you think about how you do not know what you want to do after graduation. Take a walk, go shopping, jump out of a plane or swim with some sharks. Do anything that is pleasantly liberating to keep your mind occupied.

2. Collect Some Coins.

Nobody wants to think about money. We never have it. And when we do have it, we spend it way too fast. It is an endless, tiring cycle. But depending on how your bank account is set up, chances are you will need to save a little money before you venture into the real world. Having cash for a month or two of rent or groceries will make your new transition just a tad bit more comforting.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Anyone Else.

Comparing yourself to your classmates is setting yourself up for failure! Yes, Caroline Waters may have a 3.9 GPA, is president of her sorority, a member of 4 different honor societies and already has a job lined up after graduation.  But remember: that does not make you a cold leftover turkey sandwich. Some people have been working since freshmen year to get where they are now. Do not let that stop you from grinding to get to where you want to be. Be confident in who you are and the path you want to take in life. We will all get to the top eventually.  

4. Talk to Everybody.

Maybe during your four years you only spoke to a small group of people. Maybe you spoke to no one at all because you hate people and have no faith in society anymore. Either way, realize that in the real world if you want to move up and succeed you need to talk to everyone. Start with a handshake and finish with exchanging contact information. I believe they call this networking. From the barista who messed up your coffee to the professor you actually love, everyone you meet can help you get one step closer to your dream.

5. Trust Your Gut. 

Do not confuse the jitters in your stomach as acid reflux from eating too much Chipotle. Chances are your gut is telling you to make a big move. Want to go into journalism after school? Move to New York. Want to do missionary work someday? Head to Africa. Need more time to figure everything out? Take the summer off. These things may seem entirely daunting, but nobody has gotten where they are without taking some giant scary leaps. Be brave!

Sure, you may have heard these tips a million times and the stress of graduating is still racking your brain. It seems as though nothing can ease the terrifying feeling of not knowing what is to happen in the coming months. But just remember, you are not the only person in the world who does not know exactly how to navigate this time in their lives. Just take a deep breath and conquer each day as they come.