“The thought of graduating hadn’t really hit yet because we were all looking forward to Spring Break, but it was on the drive home from break when it really sunk in and became a reality,” said Kerri O’Connor, a senior at Purdue University. “The only thing left that’s coming up now is graduation. It creeped up so fast and is a very scary thought.”
I am similar to Kerri in the fact that I am a Purdue senior as well. The thought of leaving Purdue IS a very scary notion. I sat down and talked to her about how prior to spring break it was easy to put graduation out of your mind, but now that break is over it’s become quite daunting. I wanted to list a few fears her and I shared that, if you’re a graduating senior, you might share too and a few ways to cope with them.
1. School work seems irrelevant.
This might seem true because you already have a job lined up or it’s the end of the year and you would rather spend your last few weeks hanging with friends instead of hanging in the library.
Either way, dealing with a major lack of motivation is difficult. The best way to deal with this is to set aside a few hours each week to be completely disconnected from your phone, tv, friends, etc. and only zone in on academics.
If you know you need to accomplish something but don’t have motivation, it might take you all day to complete one assignment. I know I have been there and it is a waste of the short amount of time you have left on campus.
If you calculate how many hours you’ll need to complete your tasks for the week, then plan out that uninterrupted time. It could be an hour or two everyday or one full day committed to work. If you begin to focus your time, you’ll have plenty of time left over to enjoy the last few weeks left.
2. Graduation will happen before you had enough time here.
Make a college bucket list and plan it into your schedule. This will ensure that you completed everything you wanted to do before your time runs out.
Do not let yourself graduate if you’ve always wanted to do ‘The Great Indoorsman‘ but you just never made time for it. Do not let yourself graduate with any regrets.
3. The close connections made in the last 4 years will be forgotten after graduation.
Start fitting in time now with the people you care about the most. Schedule drinks or an ice cream date with the people you want to remain friends with post graduation.
If you cannot make time for each other when you’re only (at most) a mile apart, then you won’t make time for each other when you move to different states. Taking that time for one another now will help you put aside time for each other later in life.
4. I am going to take the wrong “next step”.
Believe me, the majority of your peers have no idea if the job they’ve chosen is the correct next step to take in their life. The key is to search for opportunities and just pick the one that feels the most ‘right’. If it’s not what you want and you find out that you aren’t happy, you will find something else.
Now is the time to leap out of the college nest and (attempt to) fly. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Believe it or not, your life will pan out. There is no such thing as a ‘right’ next step, only to make whatever decision you believe is best. Trust your gut.
I am definitely feeling every single one of these fears with graduation creeping up. College has been an incredible and unique experience. If you are anything like myself or Kerri and you share these graduation fears, then I’m hoping this post will help you. You should allow yourself not to fear choosing a job after graduation, whether you know if that’s what you want to do or not. You won’t let yourself lose ties with the ones you’ve grown to care about the most. You won’t let your grades slip in the last few weeks because it is important to finish out college strong, and lastly, you will experience graduation day without any regrets or missed out opportunities.
Now it’s time for me to take my own advice and get planning for this coming week. Have a great day!