5 Questions Every College Senior Asks Themselves
As a college senior who is graduating in less than a month, I can attest to the fact that there’s a lot of pressure on me from multiple sources.
But I think that perhaps the biggest source of pressure on college seniors is the pressure they put on themselves — at least, that seems to be the case with me.
With the semester’s end fast approaching, I find myself in a state of constant worry, anxious about the future, and questioning myself daily.
Here are some of those questions, and the answers I would give myself if I could stop freaking out long enough to listen.
“Where has the time gone?” Well, the funny thing about time is that it just keeps going. There’s no pause button on life, and whether or not you’re ready, as a college senior (who has no plans at the moment to attend grad school), you’re moving on to whatever the next chapter in your life will be.
I suggest you get with the program, stay present, and make the most of each moment. (Easier said than done, I know).
“How can I be an adult already?” For me, this question is usually accompanied by some expletives, followed by “I’m not ready” and “make it stop!”
Being an adult is scary, as is leaving the world of academics (for now, at least) when it’s all many of us have known for the last 15+ years.
But part of being an adult is facing your fears — not necessarily conquering them, but at least coming face-to-face with them and marching on. As graduating college seniors, we are now real adults who are about to head off into the real world, hopefully smarter than we were at our high school graduations.
“Why do I have to go into the real world?” I recently told my mom while venting to her about some of the above questions that “being responsible is no fun.”
Unfortunately, being a graduating college senior means it’s time to enter the real world, get a job, and start being a contributing member of society. (Ugh).
And when you’ve got bills and loans to pay, you’re not really in a place to be frivolous and not worry about money, but instead need to enter the real world as quickly and seamlessly as possible to start earning an income.
But worrying about money is super tiresome, boring, and stressful, and ultimately won’t do anything to help.
And because I’m not exactly rolling in the Benjamins — and neither are most of my fellow college seniors — we can’t really afford not to enter the real world.
So the short answer is that we have to enter the real world because that’s where the money is, and strangely, I’ve gotten quite attached to my habit of being able to buy food to eat when I’m hungry.
“What if everything I’ve done until now has all been a huge mistake?” This is one of my favorites to ask myself because it leads to my going back over every decision I’ve ever made and wondering if I should’ve done things differently — it’s great fun.
But ultimately, whether or not everything we’ve done until now has been a huge mistake, we are where we are and we can’t go back and have a “do over.” Marty McFly, we’re not.
Hopefully, once the neurosis has stopped, you’ll look back proudly and nostalgically on the path that took you to where you are now, rather than looking back regretfully.
But if you do have regrets and wish you’d done things differently, use that as the fuel to propel you to where you want to go in the future and try not to make those same mistakes twice.
YOLO people; and I say that un-ironically.
“What am I doing with my life?” This is the big one and this is the one most college seniors ask themselves, promptly followed by an in-depth and lengthy freakout during which we question every single thing we’ve ever done until now. (I’m not alone in this, right? Right?)
I always thought that graduating college meant I’d have all the answers, and my life would be going exactly how I thought it would. (I’m sure God’s laughing so hard right now). But just because we’re leaving school doesn’t mean we have to have our lives completely planned out.
Whether you’re going to be starting the job you’ve always dreamed of or are still filling out applications and keeping your fingers crossed, at least you are doing something with your life (or trying anyway). And by the time you retire, you probably will have done many things in your life — and yet, still be asking yourself this very question.
In fact, I hope I never fully answer this question for myself, because I think as long as we keep asking ourselves this, we’ll continue trying new things, exploring new opportunities, and seizing every moment.
So stay hungry, my fellow college seniors — and I mean that metaphorically.
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