Excitement, fear, relief…you’re probably not human if you don’t feel all of these things to some extent as you near college graduation. After being in school for 18 years straight, I feel ambivalent about it coming to an end. School can be viewed as a sort of crutch: it’s structured and expected. It prepares more than it fulfills. It tells you who you should be and what you should aim to do with yourself, in both a daily and existential sense. After graduation, it’s all on you.
Despite my trepidations, I feel ready to graduate. I feel that my undergraduate education has given me all that it can, and isn’t that what we should all hope for at the close of our bachelor’s? My classes have been boring me recently, and I’m ready for a new chapter.
I’m also ready for a new lifestyle. Specifically, a lifestyle without customer service. I cannot express how exhausted I am of working in customer service. While an undergrad, what other choice do you have? We still have to pay bills like everyone else, but our schedules are highly irregular and we have no real experience. So generally, we’re stuck working in customer service. Everyone knows the woes of this field: it’s unfulfilling, tiring, and you take a lot of crap. Graduating from college definitely does not promise landing a dream job, but it’s nice to know that I will have many more options from here on out–hopefully none that involve getting yelled at frequently by middle-aged women.
These are the things I’ve been telling myself all year long, but as graduation nears, I’m beginning to experience that uneasiness of the looming blank canvas that is the rest of my life. Let’s face it: college shields us from real life in many ways. As students, we’re not expected to have high-paying jobs or devote a lot of time to our families and communities. We’re pardoned from many aspects of adult life because we’re busy getting degrees. And the moment we shift that tassel on our graduation cap, the expectations come flooding in.
All in all, I’m counting down the days until graduation. My life may not be conveniently planned from here on out, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be okay anyways.
Congratulations to the class of 2019! Let’s go make our marks.