The Finish Line: Impending Graduation and Making it Count
As a soon-to-be-graduating fourth year, panic attacks are a thing. I’ll be sitting in my room casually watching the most recent Real Housewives episode and all of a sudden the black hole that is my future is all up in my face and can’t be stopped. It’s like that homework assignment you put off and refuse to think about until you really have to and then once you start thinking about it you feel like the world is ending. This sounds like a gross exaggeration but I have a feeling I’m not alone in this terrified resistance to the real world.
For a while I thought it was a Liberal Arts thing. We are talented, intelligent, necessary individuals who just do not have a definite, highly-demanded job market. I looked at my friends who will graduate with degrees in engineering and physics and will have decently-paying big kid jobs pretty much right out the gate while I sit here frantically awaiting grad school admissions letters and applying to jobs that have literally nothing to do with what I have been studying for the past four years. But the more I think about it, the more I think these “holy crap don’t make me leave college” freak-outs have less to do with what I’m actually going to do with my life and more to do with the fact that these four years are actually coming to an end. The closer it comes to graduation day, the more we have to ask ourselves if we really made the most of it. I will never be a person who believes that college should be the best days of your life. I do, however, believe that you do more growing in this time of being young and having so many obstacles and decisions and flat-out crazy ridiculous situations thrown at you than you do in all the years that precede it. If you think about the person you were when you moved into your dorm freshman year, about the things that have happened and the people who have changed you and the regrets and the beauty and the heartbreaks and the nights you will never forget, it seems like the longest four years of your life, yet somehow still the shortest.
Four months. Four years has come down to four months for those of us who will say goodbye to Cal Poly come June. As terrifying as it is, I think these four months should be a time to make (cue total cliché) the absolute most of it. In these past four years, I’ve had moments where I’ve felt so sure I had it right and moments where I felt like I had absolutely no idea. In an exhausting way, that is the beauty of it all. These last four months are the time to do the things you never did. The time to check things off your list and go the places you never found the time to go. The time to tell them how you feel even when you’re not sure how. The time to create the moments that never got created. The time to find feeling in everything and get what you really want. Because really, what are we so afraid of? The future may be uncertain and even flat-out terrifying. But even more terrifying is the idea of leaving the present with regrets. So let’s make the most of it.
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