It's me... you about one year from now. It's the night before your graduation. You've been stressing over your future for the past few weeks. You wonder how you'll ever survive without school structuring your life like it has been for past 16 years.
You've convinced yourself that you don't want to settle for a boring office job after graduation. You want to move to Los Angeles, pick up what little bit of a modeling career you had before college, and try to make something of yourself. You've convinced yourself that that's what you want to do with your life because you're scared of growing up, and somehow becoming a famous actress or model seems like the perfect way to escape the mundanity of adult life.
You're not going to do any of that... at least not up until now. I can't tell you where the future will lead. But I can tell you that in the year and a month after you graduate, a lot is going to change.
You’ll move home with mom and dad, leaving behind the life you’ve built in Irvine, to spend the next few months figuring out how to navigate the professional world. You’ll constantly be bugging dad to revise your resume or check your cover letter for errors. You’ll send out a lot of applications, but only get a handful of responses back.
You’ll be nervous for every single one of your interviews, but just know this. You’re going to get an offer on every job you interview for.
You’ll accept the offer for the job that you thought you would absolutely die without… and then you’ll quit two months later because it’ll be nothing like you expected.You’ll be unemployed for about three months before you find another job. You’ll move into a new, one bedroom apartment close to your work and everything will be perfect… except, it won’t be.
Even though, on the surface, you'll have everything you ever wanted - your college degree, a job that you enjoy in the field you studied, an apartment all to yourself, a short commute, and a significant other - you’ll still feel like something is missing.
You’re going to have a hard time adjusting to post-grad life for a while. You’re going to go from constantly being surrounded by lots of people and always have something fun to do and someone to do it with, to having to pencil people in because everyone has a different schedule and you don’t live just down the street anymore.
You’ll feel like an outsider whenever you visit your friends that are still in school, because they’ll all be in on what’s been happening and you won’t be. It’ll hurt a lot when you go back to visit your friends for the first time after graduation and some of them look at you like they’re questioning why you’re even there.
But you'll come to realize that, as much fun as college was and as invaluable of an experience as it was, that's not your life anymore, even if it still is for a lot of your friends. The people who matter are the ones who'll make time to hang out with you, and the ones who you'll make time to hang out with.
Besides, there are plenty of new and exciting things that come along with finishing college. You have the rest of your life ahead of you to do whatever you want with it.