An Open Letter to All Seniors: It's Going To Be Okay

Being a senior in college is arguably one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever taken on. In between research papers, studying for tests and juggling an internship, it’s nearly impossible to think about graduation and entering the “real world.”

Some days, I have it all together. Most days, I have more questions than answers. Few, select days I fall apart.

I was at work, hurriedly completing my tasks before I had to dash out and catch the bus back to campus where I would try to fit in a snack before a meeting with my mentor. I was bone-tired: kept awake the night before with a running mental list of to-dos that I couldn’t seem to escape from. Not even a Nitro Cold Brew from Starbucks could wake me up this morning.

I’m not sure what it was—five new emails regarding upcoming career fairs, an exploding group chat between my friends about Halloween plans, or maybe the realization that I had more assignments due than time to complete them—but I cracked. Staring at my computer screen trying to hold back tears, I couldn’t push my anxious feelings to the back of my mind this time.

I left my desk, called my mom and let it all out. All of my fears tumbled out of my mouth—the ones I had been suppressing for months. I was overwhelmed and the weight of it all finally made me cave and admit how much I was struggling.

“I have no idea what I am supposed to do. Everyone keeps asking me ‘what do you want to do when you graduate?’ and I am so tired of not having an answer. Everything feels like a vast, dark space before me and the pressure to fill it with the “right” job and “right” choices is becoming too much.”

She listened to me vent and ,in the way that only mothers can, she made me feel like everything might just turn out okay. Just might.

While it’s not popular to express uncertainty or fear about our futures, sometimes we need to take off the mask of positivity and let real bravery take it’s place: sitting with the discomfort and letting it wash over you full force. Cry, take the afternoon off to watch a movie, or call your mom. Remind yourself that once you’ve collected your inner strength you can and will pick yourself up again.

This is a reassurance to you, fellow senior, that if you also feel this way you are not alone. Building a future is scary. For the last few years our university setting has provided a safe enclosure and now that the gates are finally opening it’s both thrilling and completely consuming.  We aren’t going to find the answers tomorrow—we may never find them. However, I hope you are kind to yourself. I hope the knowledge that you are not alone, despite the masks your peers put on, is enough to carry you through this last year.

Because what it coming just around the corner will be nothing less than a great adventure.