As graduation approaches, it is easy to let yourself feel overwhelmed and anxious. It is scary to be thrown into the job market where an entry-level job usually requires two or more years of experience. This flow chart expresses my worries and doubts perfectly:
However, I've found that certain things help me to feel better in a time when possible failure looms over everything. Here's my advice for how to not freak out when you're graduating.
1. Graduating does not mean you will lose all of the friends you made in college.
For some reason, I expect to immediately jump ahead 10 years the day after graduation. I know that this is not at all rational and that time will pass normally, but I still feel like all the relationships I've made here will suddenly vanish.
But really, you will stay in touch with those that you really care about. In our day and age, we have Facebook, texting, phone calls, Skype and of course, old-fashioned letter writing. You will still have a support system even if your friends are faraway.
2. You will not immediately have your life figured out, and that's OK.
It's OK to feel lost. Even those with solid plans feel lost. I guarantee that most adults feel lost too. We are all just a work in progress.
3. Listening to music helps everything.
There are some songs that always help me feel less worried about the future. Here's two of my favorites for when I'm feeling really concerned about graduating:
"And I'm on my way, I don't know where I'm goin'
But I'm on my way, takin' my time, but I don't know where."
"All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell."
4. You can meet new friends. It is possible to meet people in the "real world."
Believe it or not, there are ways to meet new friends even after the world of academia. You can meet people at work or there are sites like Meetup that organize events for people with similar interests.
You can always reach out to friends of friends or alumni of your university as well to find new friends. Online dating is always an option too if you want to meet new potential romantic partners.
5. Trust yourself.
You will find what makes you happy. Trust yourself to be able to handle anything life throws at you and don't be afraid to follow your passions.
Want to travel or teach English abroad? Go for it. Want to move somewhere where you don't know anyone? That's cool. College is just one stage of your life and you have so much more ahead of you.
Don't forget the good times you've had for the past four years, but don't dwell on them as lost times. You'll make more "good old days" in the future.