By Kate Young ‘14
It was July 31st, a warm summers day, the same as so many before it. Rising college seniors were still in their vacation mindset, lounging at the beach, working odd jobs, mindlessly scrolling through various social media sites, all putting the thoughts of the upcoming school year out of their minds.
Suddenly, their smartphones pinged. A new email! Without warning, the students opened the mail only to see that it was about Commencement 2014. This was it.
The beginning of the end.
I was sitting in my office at work when I scrolled through the email suggesting that we start booking hotel rooms for next May’s graduation ceremonies.
“Classes will begin soon, and before we know it, 2014 Commencement will be here…”
What? WHAT. No. I had already had the stray thoughts of Senior Year and The Future start to creep in, but until that point I could successfully push them away, back behind summer distractions. It was only as I was reading through that email that I realized this was really happening.
The realization that you are about to complete your last year of college (for many, their last year of all formal education) is a strange thing. Through short spans of time, the rollercoaster of emotion is a wild one. A combination of horror, excitement, nostalgia, fear, anticipation, and slight nausea all show up pretty much daily.
Thinking about how quickly the past three years have gone only sets up the final one to fly by. I know that I will be sitting in that chair with cap and gown on before I can even say, “wait I just want to color and take a nap”.
I enter August with the excitement of future possibilities flitting around my stomach. For the first time in my life, I don’t know where I will be in a year. I could be anywhere, doing anything! Hold on, I don’t know where I will be in a year. Wait that’s terrifying. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a plan.
And thus we have the internal battle that I know will continue over the next ten months. The split second swap from thrilled to terrified is one that I think all seniors are really beginning to get used to.
The panic comes along with the knowledge that I am prepared. I know I am. I have the resources, the connections, the know how, and the experiences. I will graduate with five internships under my belt. I truly believe that the four years here will have prepared me to snag an interview, ace it, land a job, and succeed there. For many other students, they already have that job lined up. For me, I still need to figure out what that could possibly be.
So, for everyone not in the Class of 2014, we know graduation is going to be here faster than we can blink. We don’t all know where we will be going after that and asking us is a panic attack trigger. This year will be amazing. It will be full of friends, memories, all-nighters, last minute internships, desperate job searches, motivation, desperation, panic attacks, and everything in between.
It’s the beginning of the end. Or is it just the end of the beginning?