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EDITORIAL: How to not be scared out of your mind to graduate

For the more than 3,100 Chippewas who will become Central Michigan University Alumni on May 6, we want you to know one thing: This is just the beginning.

This is probably one of the most stressful times of your life, as you cram for finals and prepare to say goodbye to some of the closest friends you've ever had. It's easy to get distracted by the uncertainty that is on the horizon.

Once you walk across the stage in your maroon cap and gown, you will gain the freedom to build the life you've spent your undergraduate career meticulously preparing for.

While there are many things there are to be scared of, there are just as many parts of post-grad life to be excited about.

Don't have a job lined up immediately after graduation? You'll find one. As long as you have a plan with the end goal of employment that you're working toward, things will happen for you.

There's no need to have a breakdown if you don't get hired the day after you graduate. Now is the time most companies need to hire entry level employees or interns. During the summer months, people take more vacation time, and recent college grads can pick up the slack.

Use your contacts — professors, fellow students who graduated in your major with you, etc. You've been in college for years. And now you are part of one of the best, most effective social networks out there — CMU alumni. You're most likely to find a lead to a job from someone at the university.

No matter how great your college experience was, there are a lot of things about college life you'll be glad to leave in your past. People typically refer to going to college as a milestone in gaining independence, but college is really a stepping stone into adult life. When you graduate you won't have to worry about homework, answering to professors, advisers or RAs.

If you're finding it sad to leave your college years behind, that's OK. It means you had a great experience. You made the most of your time here. There are also plenty of new memories to be made when you leave here.

CMU is a small school, so use graduation as an opportunity to experience the world that exists beyond the small town of Mount Pleasant.

As sad as it is to leave some friends and familiar things behind, the important things will be a part of your life no matter where you are in your post-grad life.

Fire up grads! And best of luck.