If you ask any graduating senior what they’re looking forward to most, you will hear the word “graduation” spoken with the most emphasis. It’s exciting to open a new chapter of your life, but things will never be exactly the same as they are right now. Life is colorful, and as soon as you cross that stage, the world is in your hands.
Although it’s so exciting that you can barely stand it, there are things that I wish someone would have told me before I hung up my cap and gown.
1.Your high school teachers are making you paranoid. As soon as I walked into my first day of class, I assumed that there was no way I was going to keep up. For the past four years, my high school teachers did nothing but tell horror stories about college. I would be willing to bet that some kids don’t go to college just because their teachers have scared them out of it. You will keep up, you will get used to the pace of classes and figure things out, and most importantly, you will be fine.
“As you travel through life there are always those times when decisions just have to be made. When the choices are hard, and solutions seem scarce, and the rain seems to soak your parade.”
2. 3 AM is not late anymore. If I climb into bed before 12:30, I’m most likely dying. You aren’t living underneath your parents’ roof anymore so your mom’s casual, “it’s getting late,” isn’t around. Most importantly, you lose track of time. After you eat, hit the gym, hang out with your friends, do 4 or more chapters of reading, and finish a paper, by the time you glance at the clock a lot of time has gone past. Your sleep schedule will be completely wrecked beyond repair to the point where closing your eyes for 7 minutes counts as a nap.
3. Never take your own bathroom for granted. More than likely, you’ll be sharing a bathroom with at least two or more people. You may even have to wear shoes in the shower, which makes shaving your legs more like doing yoga with razor blades. Your parents won’t be here to restock the shampoo, and most importantly, it’s not uncommon to stand in the hallway and make conversation in your towel.
“There are some situations where all you can do is simply let go and move on. Gather your courage and choose a direction that carries you toward a new dawn.”
4. Home cooked meals will never taste better.Even if it’s a grilled cheese, the fact that it was made at home and not in a microwave makes food taste ten times better. Anything other than ramen and cereal is pretty fancy. Every time you passed up the offer of leftovers or got a box at a restaurant will horrify you.
5. If you think school work is stressful now, you are in for a rude awakening. Now you’re thinking, “she just told us that teachers make you paranoid about homework. They do, but not in the way you’re thinking. Yes, you may get a little bit of a bigger workload, but you’re paying thousands of dollars for professors to assign it for you. If you think about it, every test you take in college is because you paid for it. If you don’t have homework, someone is ripping you off.
“The process of change can be tough, but think about all the excitement ahead. There might be adventures you never imagined just waiting around the next bend. Wishes and dreams just about to come true in ways you can’t yet comprehend!”
6. You don't care about others's opinions of you.I used to think that if I spent hundreds of dollars in clothes and makeup, I could wear it to school in hopes of someone giving me a compliment. I used to take at least an hour to get ready for school in the morning but girls, I’ll be honest with you, I wear the same t-shirts, leggings, and chucks each week.
7. The girl that was mean to you in high school will mean nothing anymore. At some point in every girl’s life, there has been another girl who spread rumors about them. The girl that told everyone you were gross? You won’t even think about her throughout your day. The people that made your life once a living hell are now all irrelevant, and you’ll kick yourself for even getting upset over it.
“Perhaps you’ll go places you never expected and see things that you’ve never seen, or travel to fabulous, faraway worlds and wonderful spots in between!”
8. You will lose touch with some of your high school friends... You spend four years with people who you probably won’t talk to ever again. You begin to realize that the only reason you were friends is because you had to see each other every day. You’ll bump into them now and again, but things won’t be the same. People will get married, people will go to jail, people will have kids, and people will pass away. Everyone takes a different path after you get your diploma.
“Perhaps you’ll find warmth and affection and caring and somebody special who’s there, to help you stay cantered and listen with interest to stories and feelings you share.”
9. but, you will make new friends. You will meet some of your very best friends in college. These are people that will come to your wedding and babysit your kids someday. People will go their separate ways, but living with people make them almost family.
“Perhaps you’ll find comfort in knowing your friends are supportive of all that you do, and believe that whatever decisions you make, they’ll be the right choices for you.”
10. This is your life now. I came to the realization soon after I graduated that I was looking at life all wrong. The choices you make after you throw your cap into the air will effect every single thing in your life. Not only is this your life now, but you’re a big kid now, too. The work you’re putting in will benefit your future career and family. Your life is changing, and before you know it, life is unfolding before your very eyes.
“So keep putting one foot in front of the other and taking your life day by day. There’s a brighter tomorrow that’s just down the road; don’t look back, you’re not going that way!”