What advice would you give yourself about coming home after college?
Entering into senior year is filled with so many emotions. Excitement and doubt being the main ones as you want to conquer everything in this last year; however, you also feel moments of uncertainty as you have not known anything, but school for the past 18 years. I imagine it to be like getting to the end of a finish line and there’s nothing there- no celebration, no people- just the end. Despite this feeling, the end of college is only the beginning. There is still so much life to live, so many people to meet, and so many goals to accomplish.
I think one of the hardest parts in coming to terms with growing up and getting ready to leave college is the fact that everything changes. By this I mean that everyone has staples in their life that are always going to be the same for us. In college, our hometowns are always the same. However, things are always changing. Neighbors move, restaurants close, and new stores are put in, and all this change is so foreign, and it can be a little earth shattering- dramatics intended. I wish that I took notice of the little changes, so that way when the big changes happened, they didn’t seem so life altering.
When I came home after my freshman year, I expected that to be the most change, and then everything else would be stable. Obviously, that would not be the case. College is chock full of change, and senior year is no different. As we discussed in our podcast episode, while doing the most during this year is so important, that also goes for taking that private time to grow. It’s super important that have all the fun you can, but to also remember to grow. One thing to remember in all this crazy time is that we have to take the time to reach our fullest potential. Post grad is not the end of the finish line, but rather the start of the race.
Speaking as a recent postgraduate, there are a lot of emotions once you’ve reached the end of your journey as an undergraduate. There is relief and excitement that all the work you’ve done for the past four years has paid off and then there is the bittersweet side that makes you wish that you could relive those last few months of senior year. But then you start to feel anxious and stressed about what the next chapter of your life is going to look like and how are you going to navigate adulting after being at school for four years and living on campus. Trust me, I’ve felt all of these things too and I know how nerve racking it is to feel like you need to figure out our entire life the day after you graduate.
The hardest part of post grad is the feeling that you're on the fast track to get your career going. This was a recurring feeling throughout my time as an undergraduate. I was so focused on what I was going to do right after graduation and how I was going to do it. Looking back I’ve realized that college provides you with the opportunity to grow as an individual and discover who you want to be in your adult life. Being at home I was able to enjoy time with my family, see friends again, binge watch all the movies I missed on Netflix. It took off some of the pressures I was feeling while at school to get good grades while planning for my future and also maintaining a social life.
Now, life at home post grad is different. I’m still able to enjoy time with my family and friends, I binge watch Netflix on the weekends but, I feel comfortable enough where I can think about what my plans are for the future without overwhelming myself. What my experience has taught me is that life has its own plans for me and the best thing for me to do is live my life to the fullest and wait and see what happens next.