Graduating from high school and graduating college bring on two completely different feelings. Leaving high school means more freedom. It introduces us to some kind of version of adulthood. When we leave college, real adulthood awaits us. Taxes, insurance, and choosing a career are just on the other side of the diploma. Not to mention paying off student loans. Graduating is daunting, but much like graduating high school, it starts a new chapter of life.
Ready or Not, Adulthood is Waiting
Part of being in this season of life is learning how to cope with change. Some people are better at it than others, and if you are someone who finds it hard to cope, that’s okay. So many students have no idea where they will end up post-grad. American culture layers on the pressure of being expected to find a job and move out of your parents’ house as soon as possible.
But that is hardly the case for most people. Life as an adult is incredibly expensive. On top of rent and gas, you may be responsible for all kinds of insurance. Living at home is by far the wisest way to save your funds after graduating.
I know this all sounds overwhelming; you don’t want to go home after college is over, but you also might not think moving out is the best option. Remember to take care of yourself amid the chaos of senior year. It is important to stay in a healthy mindset. The best thing you could do for yourself is to focus on working hard. After all, you are doing something amazing — getting your degree.
Taking care of yourself can look different for everyone. But something that all college seniors can cling to is staying out of a lazy mindset. None of us are strangers to procrastination; even perfectionists do it out of fear that they won’t do something perfectly once they get around to it. You may have made it to your final year of college, but you are not finished quite yet. Stay focused and make sure to be mindful of your overall health.
The next best thing you can do is not let yourself become too anxious. Of course, anxiety is not always manageable for everyone. But this is to say not to allow your anxiety about graduating get in the way of your ability to enjoy your last year. This is probably the last time for a while (or maybe ever) that all of your college friends will be in one place at the same time. Cherish it. Take a trip with them for spring break, or get involved with something on campus that you’ve always been interested in.
The future will worry about itself. You have a full school year to make the best of your time. If you are more of a sentimental person, take some time to find closure on your college years by taking a walk around campus. This may seem like a strange thing to do, but it helps. After writing a full chapter of your life at this place, a proper goodbye might make it more bearable.
Close the Door, But Leave the Light On
The stories of each of our lives are marked by chapters. Closing the chapter that was four years (or more) in the making can be satisfying. There is definitely something to be said about the fact that you stuck it out for an extended amount of time and earned something valuable. Whether college was an incredible experience for you or a time you would rather forget, it is important to acknowledge the feat. You are not the same person you were when you started. Think of how you grew, even if it’s painful. Nothing that was worth it was ever easy.
No matter how old you get, you will remember your time in college. It’s when you became an adult. Gaining a sense of independence is a huge part of growing up. While some parts were mundane, stressful, or irritating, you persisted. During the last year, remember why you started. It takes grit to go through all of this, and you’re at the home stretch — don’t give up now. You got this.