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Getting Ready to Graduate When You Don’t Feel Ready to Graduate

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

Graduating soon, and absolutely terrified? Read this if you’re feeling alone.

My name is Zoe Rivera, I go to Emerson College, and I am a Writing, Literature & Publishing Major. That sentence has been a major facet of my identity for the past few years. And now, in a few months, it won’t be anymore.
College has been pretty crazy. I changed so many times and in so many ways throughout the years, but there was one thing that was consistent. The fact that I was, and have been for as long as I can remember, a student.

There are a few reasons why I’m not ready to graduate. My college experience has been abnormal, to say the least, from the pandemic hitting my freshman year, to living at home, where I reconnected with family and friends from high school. I moved off campus when I came back halfway through sophomore year, and I have lived off campus ever since. This means I only lived in the dorms of my college for a few months out of the entire experience. I spent most of my time in class at home, on zoom, alone, which was very different from the experience I expected. I feel like I missed out on college, and there’s nothing I can really do about it. This feeling is only exacerbated by the fact that I’m still only 20, and I haven’t been to a bar or club, and I’m graduating. It all feels so overwhelming.

I have gotten wonderful things out of college. I have also had shitty experiences in college. I will miss it dearly, but I am also so, so ready to be done. Even though I am not 100% ready to graduate, as it approaches, I realize that I am. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and while this reason may be the number of credits I happened to have, I was still meant to graduate college before I legally can enter a bar. 

It gives me time. Time to figure out if I want to become a lawyer, like my dad, or a writer, or work in nonprofits, or teach. Time to figure out who I am, where I want to live, who I want to surround myself with. And I need time.

Despite the fact that I don’t know what I want to do, I am excited for the next chapter in my life. I am excited to start figuring out who I am as a person with a degree rather than a person getting one. I am excited to have it all together and watch it all fall apart again and again. I am excited for failure and more failure and more success than I could ever want. I am excited to move, or stay where I am, or go back to New Jersey. 

I may not be ready to graduate, but every day, I look forward to it more and more. The future is finally here, and I’m excited. I have the support of my friends, family and girlfriend. I am scared, but in a good way, which I never have been before. I have come to think of it as an opportunity rather than an ending. Hopefully it will all be okay.

Zoe Rivera

Emerson '23

Hi! I'm a freshman contributor at Emerson College