By Sara Gunn
As news of my pending graduation from college begins to get out to family and friends, I’m constantly asked two of the most simple questions that call for some very difficult answers.
- What are your plans after graduation?
- Are you excited to be graduating?
Before I attempt to answer these questions let me state some facts. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey, millennial’s are the country’s most stressed out generation due to the fact that we face high college tuition costs and exorbitant student loan debt compared to past generations. There is also stiff competition for jobs as we enter the work force.
So is graduating from college really a reason to celebrate?
The best way I can describe my college experience is to compare it to going on a road trip for the first time. When I first got to leave home after attending a community college for two years I was excited, anxious AND maybe a little nervous. As I started my journey and got the hang of the quote “college life” it became a smooth ride, with a built-in GPS for when I got lost. Granted there were a few speed bumps during the journey but I experienced some once in a lifetime memories during the long ride. I have now reached my final destination, graduation.
As graduation day approaches, I feel like everything is changing. The thought of leaving behind my college days and entering “the real world” becomes a scary feeling. This is the first time I find myself day dreaming a lot more and constantly asking myself “what’s next in my life?” In high school, there were guidance counselors and parents around to help you decide your next step. Now as college comes to an end I start to realize that what once was a smooth ride down the street is now riddled with pot holes, the speed bumps are starting to become road blocks and the passengers that once filled my car are starting to be replaced with silence.
The pressure to find a job in my field before the 6-month grace period on my student loans will be soon approaching and the mere thought of those loans creep into my head everyday. I also can’t seem to shake the possibility that I might never, ever work in my field and all of the classroom work, internships and projects that I did was all for nothing. Even though I feel that my college curriculum prepared me for my field and all of my instructors shared their wisdom and provided me with whatever I needed, I still ask myself, am I ready? Can I do this? Will I make it?
How many of you soon to be college graduates feel the same way? I’d love for you to respond or call me during my show every Tuesday from 11am until 3pm.
Soon to be a college graduate,