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college graduation stress

The Next Chapter: Coping with Post-Graduation Anxiety

Category: Trends
4 minute read.

 

This week is my last week of school ever. No more extracurriculars, twenty-page essays, or worrying about any assignments. Over the last twelve months of my senior year, the question asked to me about million times has been “are you excited to graduate?”. The truth is- I have no idea how I feel about graduating and it is okay if you feel the same way too.   

The Mixed Feelings of Graduation 

The symptoms of graduation exist on a spectrum. Understandably, it is natural to be filled with a complex surge of different emotions. After being hunkered down for years studying, there is so much excitement around no longer having to do schoolwork. But there is also the sadness that comes with dropping a routine you have lived for years. 

Furthermore, the idea of saying goodbye to the people and friends made along the way is terrifying to deal with. It is also daunting to deal with the stress of being considered a “real adult” and taking on the brutal tasks of job hunts, taxes, bills, marrying, and eventually having kids. As I would doom-scroll on LinkedIn and see my peers posting about amazing accomplishments, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was falling behind in the game of life.   

It’s Okay Not to Have It All Figured Out 

It wasn’t until I was sitting in class, feverishly updating my resume instead of paying attention, that it dawned on me that I was planning way too far ahead of myself. I have finally come to realize that I am only twenty-two years old, and I have so much life ahead of me. It is okay to not get a high-paying job right out of college or attend graduate school right away. It isn’t the end of the world if I want to do the things I enjoy and take the time to relax and travel. I also shouldn’t feel bad if it takes a little more time to figure out what makes me happy in life.   

As we deal with the complex emotions of graduating college, it is important to remember to take a breath and recognize everything we’ve accomplished to reach this point. Graduating college is an amazing achievement that involves hard work, and everything done to get there should be recognized. It’s also imperative to stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone has their moment to shine and by being patient the right opportunity will come your way. Finally, as the days wind down and graduation approaches, talk to your friends, family, and even professors about how you are feeling. You are never alone in this journey, and everyone wants to see you thrive.  

college graduation anxiety

Parting Words from A Graduate 

For those who are just starting their own journey of college, the next four years of your life are going to be filled with amazing highs and lows. Find something you are passionate about and be excellent at it, and when you make a mistake, which is inevitably going to happen – do not dwell on them but learn from them and allow your heart to be broken. 

Go out of your way to put your best foot forward and live in the moment because most moments in college are pretty damn good. College has been an amazing experience, and I am so happy for you to experience it. 

So, where do you go from here? No clue. It is never certain, but I think that is the best thing about it. Embrace the uncertainty in your life and have hope that there is so many amazing things to come. Take pride in how far you have come and how hard you have worked to be here. And after you walk the graduation stage, be bold, be courageous, and be your best.  

This guest post was written by Rory Chambers, a spring 2024 graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA.