The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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What is scary and exciting about graduation

It’s a shocking fact to realize, but for the last 20 years many of my peers who are graduating and I have been in school. That’s two decades, what will likely end up being a quarter, or more, of my life spent in one classroom or another.

And soon, frighteningly soon, we will be leaving all of that behind to enter the “real world.” What we have spent so many long hours complaining about will soon become a thing of the past. We will enter a new world, one many CSUN students are actually already in, one of bills, children, marriage, work, health insurance, life insurance, car insurance and the occasional Saturday barbeque.

I can’t speak for my peers, but the thought of this at once excites and scares the shit out of me.

We shouldn’t be worried about our ability to survive in this new world. We’ve taken what life has thrown at us so far. We’ll be able to deal with whatever else it decides is a worthy obstacle. As Ringo said, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Actually, I’m thrilled at the prospect of finally not being in school. After spending so long in school, it’s really starting to grate on my nerves. Each semester becomes more draining and more tiring to trudge through. Every finished finals week brings more relief than the one before it. After 20 years, I’ve had enough of sitting in a classroom listening to someone lecture about something that, more often than not, I really couldn’t care less about and then churning out another six page essay.

School is much more than just learning to count and write, though. What school is supposed to teach us is something that can’t be learned in the classroom, but instead is learned on the playground. More than learning to put beans in cups, carry the one and where to put the apostrophe, we’re supposed to be learning how to work together, deal with bullies and what is inappropriate to say during solemn occasions. We’re supposed to be learning how to be people. School, more often than not, teaches us how to do this very well. By college, however, we should be long done learning all of this.

What scares me is leaving all of it behind. I’ve been in school longer than I can remember. It’s all I’ve ever known. And now no longer doing what I’ve done my whole life makes panic creep up my spine.

It’s the same panic that always hits me when I’m about to do something like ride a roller coaster, though. It’s that feeling that I’m about to do something that would be incredibly stupid if I didn’t know that it was all going to be okay.

Admittedly, I do have some stronger safety nets than others. My parents have done pretty well for themselves over the years. They’ve made it very clear that, while I should be learning to do things for myself, they’ll do whatever they can to help me should the need arise, and that’s more than a lot of people can say about their own parents. But I guess it was all those years of education, both in and out of school, that have taught me to be tough enough to withstand life’s difficulties.

And that’s what makes me not worry about life after college for anyone who graduates. I know we’re going to do okay. Aside from the fact that college graduates make far more than those with only a high school diploma, a college graduate has shown that they can deal with life’s difficulties and adapt to new situations. I know that life will just get tougher the longer we live, that there will be truckloads of problems for us to deal with, but I know that, since we’ve made it this far, we’ve got enough smarts and tenacity to get through the “real world.”

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