I’ve lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since I was born. I've explored in my childhood, survived my teenage years, and endured high school. Here I am now, in the final stretch of my undergraduate career and much like every other graduating senior; I’m freaking out about what to do after graduation.
All of us are worried about finding a “real job” and actually being an “adult”. We’re at this weird limbo point in our lives in which the decisions that we make directly effect the rest of our lives. College, and scholastic institutions in general, have given us a consistent pathway to follow for the last seventeen years. Think about the level of institutionalization we're at after so many years of school. That guidance is completely placed in our hands once we’re finally graduated. That’s pretty terrifying, all things considered. I mean, as we move along throughout school we have teachers to help us learn and advisers to tell us what to do in order to learn the most important and relevant things. And now? Who knows if that new job you want is something you’re going to like, or if staying in your hometown is the right thing to do? We’re all winging it at this point. There are many changes that we’re all going to make once we graduate. Some of us will be moving, others will be taking career jobs, and some might even be getting married. In my case, I’m doing all three!
All it’s going to take is one summer, and I’m going to be marrying the woman I love, move with her to the city where her new grad program is, and hopefully take a job in a city that is 1,400 miles away from anything I’ve ever known. My friends, my family, my favorite restaurants; everything I know is in Albuquerque. I’m sure that other seniors are going through this same process. Granted, there are many who moved for their college experience, so they’ve already had their major move. But there are others like me who’ve lived comfortably in the same city, in the same state, in the same side of the country their entire lives. Now while I am moving with the love of my life, I am also moving to a completely new place. Not only will I be working through my job, but I’ll have to learn a whole new city. Also, roughly 99% of everyone I know is in my home town and I’ll be moving 1,400 miles away from all of them. There are so many new things, and people I’m going to have to get accustomed to again. This is all not to forget that I will have to be a full-fledged adult and function in society in an actual 9-5 job in a brand-new city, after buying a house and moving halfway across the country. Have I mentioned that this is all being done halfway across the country? Because it is.
Plus, there are so many resources that we’ve had access to as college students that are just gone come May. A massive database filled with academic articles? Gone. All of the Student Union Buildings across the country? Nope. Amazon Prime/Spotify/Microsoft Office student discounts? Definitely not. There are so many things that we take for granted as students that we won’t be able to do anymore. Even something as simple as your school email will become inactive come graduation.
How do I, as well as other college graduates, deal with this anxiety that we’re going to have in a month? Well, let’s focus on the positives here. We’re actually going to be starting our lives for the first time in our lives! We don’t have to do something based on an advisement meeting or a degree plan. We also get to learn new things about a new city and new people. But most importantly, we get to learn new things about ourselves. We can grow and adapt and calmly move forward through life. It’s fantastic that we actually have the thing that we’ve really only had the illusion of for so long; a choice.