I was not looking forwards to my graduation from Undergrad U. At some point in February, someone made mention of there being 100 days until graduation, and it was like some switch flipped in my brain. Before then, graduation had been some distant event with little meaning. It seemed long enough away that by the time it eventually rolled around, I would have my life together. But once that countdown hit the double digits, I was panicking. I didn’t have a “grown up” job yet. I wasn’t “over” college yet. Heck, I had just started to enjoy myself! And so I spent the next 99 days dreading graduation.
I had no time to process the fact that I was a graduating senior. I literally went straight from taking an exam to listening to some CEO of some company tell me to go out there and make a difference in the world. No cushy senior send off event for me. If I thought that college went by too fast, it was nothing compared to how fast I went from enjoying mixers with my sisters and nights at the bar to packing my apartment up and moving back to my parents house. Speaking of my sisters, there were only two others that graduated when I did. TWO. We didn’t take cute-sy senior pictures or anything of the sort. Not only was I leaving with nothing exciting in my future – nobody was coming into the lonely world of adulthood with me!
As PDFM U gets ready for graduation, I can’t help but to think back on my own graduation and all those thoughts and feelings I had. I wonder how all my students feel – if they’re excited or sad or scared or all three. Are they going to look back fondly on these last few weeks of college or be like me and wish that they had “done more”?
How did I spend my last few weeks? I remember sleepovers in my sorority house’s living room. Late night Taco Bell runs. Driving all over creation with my friends as they looked for a house to rent the following year. Enjoying things at Undergrad U that I had never tried before (true story, I don’t think I used the gym at UU until my last month of college). Maybe I did do enough. Maybe I just wish that college was longer.
I’ve had a few talks with some of my students adjusting to the post-college world. At first I thought that it was just me, that I was the only person having some MAJOR transition issues to life after college. Part of the problem with having only a few sisters graduate was that I had nobody to talk to these things about. Now that all my friends have (finally) joined me in the real world, I see them going through the same struggles I went through. It turns out everything I felt was completely normal. It takes time to get used to not living twenty feet from your best friends and not having something to do every night.
The good news is, I was MUCH more excited about my graduation from Grad School State. All of my friends were graduating with me, we had plenty of adventures together in our last weeks of school, and while I still didn’t have a job, I had a Master’s degree and for some reason that made me feel much more important. It didn’t make me think I could change the world, but it did make me think that I could help somebody that someday might change the world.
I wish there were more resources for those transitioning out of college. For now, there’s a nice network of bloggers that you can count on.