The Five Stages of (Graduation) Grief

Everyone keeps asking me: "Are you ready to graduate? Are you sad to leave?" And the answer is yeah, a little bit. It's a mix of emotions. Which got me thinking... Do you go through five stages of grief as you approach graduation? I've come to the conclusion that yes, you can go through them, and this is probably what it looks like.

1. Denial 

It feels like you aren't even graduating. You still have classes, finals, and the stress of projects and homework piling up at the end - the same as every quarter. In your head, it's not real until you walk across that stage.

2. Anger

Maybe you're not angry about graduating in the traditional sense, but maybe you're mad about all the things you didn't get to do during your time at Davis. You might ask, how did I let all this time pass without doing X, Y, and Z?

3. Bargaining

You're probably trying to think of all the things you could've done differently in your time here. Maybe life at Davis could have been better if you never took this class, or took on this job, or were friends with this person. Basically you start listing all the regrets and how you could've avoided them. You might even ask a higher power why this or that went the way it did.

4. Depression

You're just really sad about leaving your friends and taking finals at the same time. You realize it's regular finals stress, paired with all your feelings about leaving the place you've called home for the past four years. It's hard to face this sadness head on, but you know it's a part of the cycle. It's a necessary part of leaving.

5. Acceptance

You've come to terms with the fact that you're graduating. Finally! After four years, you've done the thing you set out to do. Though you're sad about leaving Davis, your home away from home, you know that Davis will never leave you. It's a part of who you are now.


Now you're almost done with the quarter, your 12th round of finals, and probably these stages of grief. Congrats, Aggie! 

Cover photo taken by Garrison Stribling