At the beginning of college the first thing you’ll hear is, “These four years will be some of the best of your life.” During the four or more years you meet people, experience life, learn about yourself, make mistakes and maybe even burn some popcorn along the way. The one thing most of us generally aren’t doing is thinking about all those great things coming to an end. Then senior year hits you like a wrecking ball (pun intended). You start thinking about post grad life, jobs, money and most begrudgingly, student loans. All of this can incite fear and anxiety, especially if you can’t see where the tunnel is leading you. Gradating college doesn’t have to be a scary moment in your life. It’s important to remain optimistic for the future. Here are 10 reasons not to fear graduation.
Not the End of the Road
Even though most of us don’t want to hear this but graduating college is not the end of life. Yes, this is a scary feeling because for the first time you may not know the next step. For years we have gone from one grade to the next, one graduation ceremony to the next stepping stone. Now you may be lost because there not be a next ceremony to look forward to. College is intended to help people figure out themselves and their lives. How will you ever use those skills if you are too afraid to move on?
Temple University senior, Kelsey Baffour knows a thing or two about graduation being the beginning of a new chapter. “I’m not going to say that the thought of graduation hasn’t freaked me out, but this is just the beginning. Graduation means you made it, not that everything is over,” she said.
Everything may not be sunshine and butterflies, but life is not over. The only thing ending is college. The memories are still there and the people you care about the most are phone calls away. College has to end at some point, life will go on and hopefully it’s better than you expected.
Appreciate the Process
Take a step back and look at everything you have accomplished. You can officially say that you’re a college graduate. Don’t try to rush towards graduation and don’t try to push it back; instead appreciate the process. This may be your last graduation, the last time you live in the same city with all your best friends or even the last time you go to a frat party with no judgement. Marvel in what’s going on around you. Learn to appreciate the moment you are in at this very second. You have made it this far and graduation is just another obstacle you will win.
It’s the End of Homework
Unless you are going to obtain a higher degree after college, this is the last time you will have homework. I’ll write that one more time. This is the last time, since the 1st grade that you will EVER have HOMEWORK. If that doesn’t excite you about graduation, I’m not sure what will. No longer will you be looking at a computer screen at 3am trying to finish a paper that you could’ve started the week before. Gone are the days of stress drinking coffee (yes, that is a thing) in order to pull all-nighters. It’s over. You can no live a life with no homework.
Change is Inevitable
A lot of anxiety comes with graduation because of the change that comes after it. We all know that change is inevitable, yet it still is the source of fear and unhappiness. “Change does some good for everyone. Just imagine living in a world where everything stayed the same. After a while that would drive you crazy. Take the good and bad in change. Don’t let that stop your process,” said Bisa Lindsey who is a graduating senior at Temple University.
Change can be a horrible experience or it can help you learn to be adaptable. Nothing in life will stay the same forever. The same goes for being in college. At some time or another you have to graduate and accept that life is in constant motion. Gradation is a time of change. You walk on the stage a student and leave a graduate. Even though that may take some adjusting to, don’t be too afraid of the changes that come with the diploma.
Pursue What You Love
Class after class you’ve been told that what you are doing in college will help with your future career. Well, now is the time to use that wisdom and pursue what you love. Right now you may not even know what you want to do. That’s the best part about graduation: you have to figure it out. Maybe you have been avoiding the things you are truly interested in. Well, there is no time better than the present to use the skills you’ve gained these last few years and go after a dream.
Remember that time you couldn’t go away because of class? Well, class is no longer in session. If you can take some time after graduation and before starting a job, go travel. It doesn’t matter if you travel to another country or another state for the first time. The ancient Greek story-teller Aesop once said, “Adventure is worthwhile.” You might not have the luxury to pick up and go away for months at a time (depending on your circumstance), but make some time to have an adventure. In the end adventures help you learn and grow not only about yourself but the world around you. Isn’t that what life is all about?
The Unknown Makes You Better
If there is one lesson I’ve learned during senior year is letting the unknown make me better. I have never been so unsure in my life. To be completely honest, that excites me. There is nothing wrong with having a plan after graduation, but there is also nothing wrong with not having a plan. Not having everything figured out should be freaking me out. The unknown can make you better by helping you understand that you won’t always have control in every step of your life. Don’t be afraid to graduate because some of your friends have everything lined up and ready to go. Know that in due time you will have a plan, but at this moment it really is okay not to be able to see all the twists and turns you have to take in the future. Let the unknown bring you peace and understanding that you have all the options in the world, just take your pick.
New Friends & Watching Old Friendships Grow
While Drake may have been emphatic about not wanting new friends and sticking to your day one posse, making new friends is exciting. You’ll always cherish the friendships you’ve made in college, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get excited for the new ones that are to come after graduation. For at least four years you’ve been in a friend bubble where you’ve all had some of the same experiences. This may be the first time like freshman year where you meet people who have no clue about your life or even the college you attended. While making new friends and memories you get to watch already established friends grow even more. The best friendships are those that grow even when you are miles apart.
Johnson C. Smith graduate Darin Harrell said, “If I had to give any advice to someone about to graduate I would say this is the time to take every chance. Do things you were to afraid to accomplish in college. Go skydiving, apply to that job, I mean try a new food recipe. Life is all about taking chances and you don’t want to regret all the things you didn’t do because you were constantly thinking about life in college. Life really begins after college,” said Harnell.
Life Gets Better (If you want it to be)
One thing I’ve heard over and over again is, “I hope you enjoyed these four years because life will never be the same.” Those people are completely right, life after graduation will never be the same. Ask yourself, “Why would you want it to be?” College is great but life gets better. Of course, there will be days when I wish I could take a nap after class and binge watch Netflix all day. When those loans hit, I doubt I’ll be a happy camper. I refuse to believe that life doesn’t get better each day. It won’t be a nice stroll in the park all the time but don’t let all the negative things about life scare you away from post-grad life. You are the pilot on this plane of life. If you decide it will be a horrible flight, I promise you every day will be horrendous. Instead, if you decide that you’ll take the bad, the good and make the most out of every situation I believe post grad life will be an adventure you never want to end.