Here we are, three and a half years in and only 15 weeks until I will have finished my undergraduate degree. We are in the home stretch – running toward what? As I start this last semester my days are filled with constant stress, excitement, questions, and, most of all, fear.
Every day I ask myself, “What the hell am I going to do with my life?” Unfortunately, everyone else I know is asking me the same question. The only people who avoid any topic matter concerning the months after May 23rd are my fellow peers who will be walking at commencement. I think most of us have come together in solidarity in the fact that we don’t really have a clue. This results in panic.
For some of us, the problem is getting a job – or, in other words, what can I do to avoid moving back in with my parents? I’m debating what to do this summer and whether I really want to go to graduate school or not.
Many a night is spent pouring over job websites, scheduling the fifth CDO appointment, or simply crying into a pillow whenever I think about the real world. I don’t even know why this is such a problem either; I’ve been paying my own bills and taking care of myself since I was 17 – but still, the idea of no academic institution to shelter me is terrifying. So is my parents’ request that I make a five-year-plan. Please! I don’t even know what I’m doing this summer.
I, however, am lucky. I at least have the option of graduate school, which would provide another year (or two if you’re in the U.S.) away from full grown-up responsibilities. That is also accompanied with a huge debt. Entering this last semester stirs myriad fears and concerns about the future, but there are also some high points: I’m about to graduate from college!
If I wanted to I could never take an academic class again. I would hate that because I love academia, but it’s an option. In a couple months I will finally be able to say, “when I was in college…” I will have a degree, and since this is my last semester and I’ve already taken most of my required course work I get to take art classes. That’s awesome. I don’t have to write a thousand papers this semester. I also get to attend all the senior events and, though stressful, the job search can be kind of fun. I guess overall the end of college is like the ends of most things. It’s a time of transition. It can be complicated, scary, and it definitely has its high and low points. Though I’m a bit of a mess during the whole process, I’m excited to see how things unfold.