COLUMN: Graduation brings anxiety of what to do next
At least, that’s what reassures me, the hope that I’m not alone.
Every day, I’m filled with anxiety over what to do next; I’ve flirted with attending graduate school, considered internships and of course, the official jump into adulthood: A real job.
Right now, I’m juggling an internship plus being a full-time student.
I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds. I’m working at a real newspaper, which, aside from my job title, is a “real,” grown-up job — I need to be to work at 8 a.m. every morning and attend meetings, and jeans are sadly unacceptable.
I also have classes two days a week. For that, I feel quite fortunate. In a way, I get to have a suspended adolescence.
But it’s also filled with uncertainty. My friends don’t think of me as a real student or peer, my co-workers don’t see me as a colleague.
This uncertainty isn’t anything all undergraduates don’t eventually face, but, like most 20-somethings, I can’t help but feel like it’s so much worse because it’s happening to ME.
I have so much ambition and I want to do great things. I want to cover the White House by the arbitrary age of 30 and I want to continue my education. There’s so much I want to do, that choosing just one thing may be my actual dilemma here.
I’m not quite sure if I’m ready to choose yet.
Making things worse is the fact that moving on from the comfortable safety net of college (and by extension, my youth) is FREAKING ME OUT.
I admittedly suffer from a bit of Peter Pan syndrome. I’m excited for my future, but very, very nervous about leaving what is safe and home to me. I don’t quite want to grow up.
Anyone who knows me knows I’ve not loved every minute, or every thing about attending Central Michigan University. But moving on is proving to be an emotional and difficult undertaking.
Again, I suspect nearly everyone at the cusp of graduation is experiencing the same thing. And once that threshold is crossed, everything will be sensational. I’m sure of it.
But until then, I expect to continue waking up sick to my stomach, desperately trying to cling to my youth.
As terrified as I may be, in a way, it’s also exciting. Even at 23, I’m still young, and upon graduation, I will have every opportunity waiting for me.
So if it’s graduate school, moving to Washington or traveling, I’m lucky that I can truly do whatever it is I want.
It’s figuring it out that will be the ultimate, albeit exciting, challenge.
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