Graduation: Where excitement and anxiety collide

Alex Dapp

This past week, after a particularly long, busy day, I had a good friend tell me that I need to de-stress. Before I could even figure out how he knew I was stressed, he said to me, “This is a challenging time in your life,” and suddenly, I became extremely anxious.
Like many other students my age, this is the last year of our college experience. Our last two semesters of school are the only thing keeping us from entering “the real world.” If I’m being honest, I am ready for this moment to happen. I’m ready to graduate and see what else life has to offer beyond a lecture hall and essay deadlines.
However, over the past three years at school, I have watched numerous friends graduate and venture out in search of their place in the work force. For a lucky few, they were able to land stable jobs in no time. The not-so-lucky, however, are the ones who are still searching for their chance.
Obviously every person is different and we all have access to different opportunities, but it’s not exactly encouraging to witness former classmates crash and burn in the work force.
Not only is it disheartening to watch recent graduates struggle to find a career, it’s also pretty nerve-racking to realize that trying to find a job is not the only task on a mile-long to-do list.
Depending on your potential job situation, you then have to determine your living situation. For many college students, living with roommates in crowded quarters has been the norm for the past four years, but it’s time to move on and move in to something more adult.
Then there’s the terrifying “big kid purchase” just looming overhead. Will it be a new car? Maybe a down payment on a house? Whatever your first big purchase is as a recent graduate in the real world, it’s pretty darn scary.
I’m not trying to scare readers or make you consider graduate school as a way to prolong the job search – I’m simply here to say we’re all in the same boat. We might think we have it all together, but graduating is still a pretty chilling thing.
So, the next time a casual lunch turns into a daunting conversation about down payments and health insurance, just remember –you’re not the only one feeling this way.