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The 8 Stages of Graduating

Stage 1: Denial. You’ve got 3 papers due this week and a final presentation? Next week is graduation? Nope, no thanks. It’s actually not happening, so you can just continue to binge watch that show you decided to start in the midst of a denial episode. 

Stage 2: Depression. School is the only thing we’ve ever known, and quite possibly the only thing we’re good at doing. WE DON’T WANT TO ENTER THE REAL WORLD. So grab a glass of wine and just have yourself a nice cry sesh. You might feel better. Or you might get drunk. It doesn’t really matter. 

Stage 3: Anger. You have paid so much money to go to college and now you’re left with a piece of paper and an ugly robe and stupid hat. Why is college so expensive?! The thought of four straight years of hard work and years of debt and loans to pay will turn to FURY if we don’t get a job right after graduation. 

Stage 4: Acceptance. Alright, this is real. Graduation is coming. You’re almost done with college. Just one more paper to write. That’s fine. The real world is pretty cool, right? You’ll get a job. You’ll be fine, I’ll be fine. 

Stage 5: Elation. OH MY GOSH WE ARE ALMOST DONE WITH UNDERGRADUATE FOREVER!!!!! Thank god, I need to stop having stress dreams about failing public speaking class because my voice box got stolen by the neighborhood cat. WOOHOO!

Stage 6: Apathy. Alright, graduation is happening, and there’s only a few weeks and those few last assignments between you and freedom. Who says I care about that final project I’ve been working on all semester? Not me, because I’m gonna bullsh*t the entire thing the night before it’s due. Whatever. 

Stage 7: Applying for jobs. Alright, the real world has knocked at your door, and you’ve finally answered. I’ve finally gotten a bachelor’s degree, yet I’m somehow not qualified for any job that has ever existed ever. Unless it’s waitressing, which I didn’t even need this degree for. Oh wait, I need experience for that waitressing job, too. 

Stage 7: Accepting your ultimate downfall into homelessness and unemployment. At least you can live at home for a while, right?

Stage 8: Finding your niche. Maybe it’s a job, maybe it’s traveling, maybe it’s actually having the time to sit down and read for fun. There’s all kinds of ways to enjoy your newfound freedom. 

[Gifs courtesy of giphy.com

Maddie is a senior at UNCW majoring in English Literature with a Professional Writing Certificate and minoring in Women's Gender Studies.
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