Vs. After Graduation

woman and baby happily pose for selfie

On May 18 at 6 p.m., I will be walking across a stage to symbolize the completion of my Undergraduate degree with many of my peers. This is something I have been waiting for five years and the time has finally come.

It’s a bittersweet feeling, really, because the reality of it is I don’t know what life after college is supposed to be like.

Yes, I’ll have more time with my son. Yes, I’ll have more time in general, I suppose. However, I’ve dedicated and adjusted my life completely to work, school, and being a mom. What do I do with all the time I’d usually be in class?

I can’t be the only thinking to themselves, ‘what now?’

We go to school to get these degrees that qualify us for careers that are not guaranteed to come immediately after graduation, so what do we do in the meantime?

Some of us had the time and support to do the internships and secure our spots in our new found careers, while others didn’t have that luxury.

Five years of thinking, stressing, finals and midterms. I think I’ve earned myself a vacation. I think we all have. Is there an option for us to take a vacation for every year we’ve been in school for all the learning that we did?

Ha, but then there’s the financial factor and the fact that for anyone who has student loans we get a six month grace period and then we get hit with the reminder that we’re in the hole thousands of dollars because we decided to further our education.

I would love to travel to a different country for a week, or even just out of the state. It would be a pat on the back to myself, to remind myself that I made it.

We’ve come so far, and we all should be so proud of ourselves. You all should be so proud of yourselves. We beat the odds. Whether it’s been four, six or even eight or more years, we made it.

Now that you’re here, don’t let anyone downplay how far you’ve come. You’re a rockstar, and the future of journalism, law, business or whatever it is that you’ve poured yourself into during your undergraduate program.

No matter how many years, I know it has been a long run for all of us. Although senioritis might be kicking in, although you may be over it and just want to throw in the towel at this point, don’t. We didn’t come this far to only come this far. We have less than five weeks left as Undergraduate students.

We’re in the home stretch. Let’s finish our last semester strong.

We can do this.

When it’s done, go out there and live life to the fullest. Do things you haven’t really been able to do. If you plan to go to Grad school, do that. If not, don’t stress it.

Go out and live. The world is your playground.