I am graduating in 45 days and I don't know what I'm doing
Start writing a post
Student Life

I am graduating in 45 days and I don't know what I'm doing

Spoiler: Neither does anyone. But it's okay.

24
I am graduating in 45 days and I don't know what I'm doing


My ears perk up at the sound of yet another email notification. I open it with a precarious fascination, ready to read and ignore it but to my surprise, it's actually relevant to me. It's addressed to the Class of 2021 and included yet another post about how graduation is coming soon and some info on attending virtual workshops in order to prepare for it. But how does one prepare for something they will never feel ready for?

I used to long for the day I graduated college. Pomp and circumstance playing in the background as I walk down the aisle and onto the stage with my fellow graduates, people who happen to be in my year, or me happening to be in theirs since I took an extra few semesters. Decked in my cap and gown (properly paid for), and degree waiting for me at the end of my physical journey from my seat, to the dean or whoever held my certificate. This was how I imagined graduation. But of course, our plans don't mean a thing to a global pandemic.

We're definitely in a better place than we were when it all began. We're learning how to navigate a life of a social distance, which once got used to, extroverted-introverts like me didn't mind too much. And with a sense of SOME protection, slowly venturing out into the world and trying our best to make it "normal" again. But we still have ways to go, in more than social areas, but politically, culturally, and personally I'm sure. To expect us to shift from a fully remote and distant world back to a 9 to 5 hustling and active one is definitely asking the most from a traumatized society.

So I tell myself this when thinking about graduation and the mixed feelings I have about it. I expected it to be a fun, almost carefree time of celebration and parties, hanging out with friends and family, all together physically to commemorate a momentous triumph. But, as most things have been in the past year, It's not the worst thing in the world, I told myself as I got the email saying that there will be a virtual commencement this year. I'll have to settle for a virtual zoom ceremony, no stage to walk besides one I set for myself- which is also okay. My parents won't get the photo-op they wanted but I will get the degree and that's the most important thing.

As for afterwards, I still don't know what that will bring. The job market is still trying to recover from basically being traumatized by the loss of major industries, as lots of jobs transitioned from in-person to remote, as did my learning. The graduates of 2020 & 2021 now have that in mind when looking for work- which format would they prefer? In many ways, it's cool that we have that option but also nerve-wracking, since we don't know exactly how long it'll last. Some solace that I have is that if I'm scared about this, more than I'm excited, that in itself is normal as well. This pandemic is a scary unpredictable time that we will have to probably unpack for years even after its over- but the good thing about living in a major historic moment is that we will have others who understand why we feel the way we do, and can at least relate similar feelings with if not experiences. And in general, most recent college grads, after being in a student practically all of their life, also don't know exactly what they're doing- however, this time around there's an extra understanding and consideration since we have this to deal with as well.

As I scroll through job postings with the "opentowork" hashtag on my LinkedIn profile, I tell myself that it's okay and that I'll figure this out. And I don't have to do it alone. I have a whole generation of current to former students who probably feel the same way. Reaching out to graduates of last year and this year is a way I can feel that solidarity even more. I've also talked to past graduates back in normal years, and they too often have the same feelings of appreciation and apprehension. Its journey and every new journey has an air of trepidation and fear- but it's a healthy fear, to drive us to go above the only potential we think we possess and strive towards a better version of ourselves.

I say we make graduates of the 2020-2021 support group to unpack all of this together. Regardless, from one soon-to-be graduate to another, congratulations. You not only graduated but graduated despite having your life being flipped upside down, inside out, and sideways. Whether you know what the next step is, or not, be proud that you've made it through and have that piece of paper that says you can do things. You more than deserve it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?
https://pixabay.com/photos/college-students-diploma-graduate-3990783/

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

1871
Life Is Messy
https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-yellow-sunflower-field-under-sunny-sky-1169084/

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

40727
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

10669
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

11664
Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments