When you graduate from college, a strange thing happens- reality smacks you in the face and no matter how hard you try to explain your feelings to someone else, they just don’t get it. The so-called “real world” (I don’t like this phrase… what is there a fake world somewhere I don’t know about?!) is a complex thing. It’s life and to sum it up, I’ve decided to divide the feelings that comes after commencement into 3 categories: the good, the bad, and the scary.
The Good- The good from graduating is the most obvious. Regardless if you actually earned the grade or made your teacher hate you so much that they passed you not to see you again, you got that piece of paper. The best thing about graduating for me, besides the excited feeling and all the fun parties, was having my parents say they were proud of me. I would’ve taken that over walking across a stage and shaking some stranger’s hand any day. I remember sitting in the sea of black caps after I had my 10 seconds of fame and immediately pulling out my phone to text my mom and dad how thankful I was to have them supporting me. My mom said she loved me and my dad sent a picture of me dressed as a unicorn with the message “That’s my college graduate.” HAHAHA. Couldn’t have been more perfect.
The Bad- Confession: After I took my last final and said goodbye to my professor, I went to my car and cried. I know, I know. I’m lame. But, a lot about graduating was sad for me. I changed my major a lot and attended 3 different schools, all of which I met amazing people at. When I turned in my last scantron, I realized that even if I still talked to these people, it wasn’t going to be the same. We wouldn’t get to laugh at our teacher saying “Thank you for coming to class” when we strolled in 20 minutes late, or make lists of people we wanted to punch in the face. (It was a mental list, not written, if that helps at all.) Those times were over and something new was beginning.
The Scary- The scary is the moment life’s fist meets the side of your cheek and punches all feelings of accomplishment out of you. It is the web of questions becoming tangled in your head- What am I gonna do? What if I don’t get a job? What if I don’t get into grad school? What if I don’t like grad school? What if the major I picked is all wrong? I’ve often wondered if I was going to be like Alan from The Hangover and be a stay-at-home daughter for the rest of my life…. What comforts me though, is knowing EVERY graduate has thoughts similar to these. You may graduate confident, but somewhere in there, even if you don’t admit it, is fear.
I wish you all the best of luck in whatever path you choose to take, or the path life puts you on. If you have dreams, I believe in them.