I’ve sat down to write this particular column about 8,227 times, and every time I find myself at a complete loss for words.
This is rare for me. I usually have more words than can fit on the page. But for some reason, when I start thinking about the end of the year, graduating and the future, I freeze.
After speaking with many of my fellow seniors and taking a super-official informal poll of all my friends, I’ve confirmed this debilitating fear of the unknown is actually pretty common.
Since then, I’ve found peace in knowing I’m not the only one who A) has no idea what they’re doing with their life, B) is suddenly questioning all of their life choices including major, chosen career path and what to have for dinner and C) is growing increasingly nostalgic for college, even though we’re exactly one month from ever having to go to class again.
I can say with confidence that anyone who is graduating has more than earned it. We’ve worked hard these past four, five, six or 10 years and now, with only a month left, we want to enjoy our remaining moments with our friends and make as many memories as possible. Or, let’s be honest, watch Netflix in our comfiest not-pants and pretend we’re not getting calendar alerts about everything we have to do this week.
Everyone has a mile-long list of all the things we want to accomplish in our last fleeting moments as university students, and they probably look something like this.
- Find a job, or at the very least, a way not to move back in with the parents.
- Pass the 100-level class you saved for your senior year because you thought it would be easy.
- Sing the fight song at the Corner Club 42 more times before graduation.
- Wear sweats every day because once you become a professional it will no longer be acceptable.
- Work approximately 600 hours at a minimum wage job, because it turns out moving and graduating (and the beer you drink before singing the fight song) is expensive. ($53 for a cap and gown, seriously?)
Unfortunately, this is the time in our collegiate careers when doing anything productive seems like the most difficult thing ever and we’d all much rather take a nap.
But I’m here to tell you, my fellow graduating seniors, that you are not alone.
Despite our best efforts, we probably won’t get to 75 percent of the things on these lists, and figuring out our future may be the biggest one we never get to. The truth is, that’s OK.
It’s time to let go of the notion that by May 16 we’ve got to have it all figured out.
It’s time to stop being embarrassed by the full-on panic attack we have every time someone asks us what our plans are after college.
Most of us don’t know, and that’s the beauty of it. In a cliché that will make my student media adviser cringe, the world is our oyster and we can do anything we want.
Don’t let the senioritis get the best of you. Finish strong and pass your classes, but don’t be upset if you forgo an A for a B in favor of having dinner with your best friends. Take a break from job searching to watch the final season of Parks and Recreation, and don’t feel one drop of guilt over it.
In the words of that picture of a tree with the fancy script that you just pinned to your “<3 inspiration <3” board, it will all work out.
Kaitlyn Krasselt can be reached at email@example.com