Post Graduation Feels: A Different Perspective
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Student Life

Post Graduation Feels: A Different Perspective

Two days later, I felt as if my student identity had been stripped away from me.

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Post Graduation Feels: A Different Perspective
Lianne Josbacher

“Ladies and gentlemen: I present to you the Class of 2018. Congratulations, graduates. Please move your tassel from left to right.”

It’s been over a week since I’ve graduated from the “Smurf Turf” and to be honest, it still feels surreal. During graduation, I wore my cap and my gown and my chords and my stole that blanketed my shoulders like a little child. I felt like a nerdy superhero. So needless to say, I wasn’t afraid to flaunt it.

After many obligated photos and sweaty hugs, my family and I feasted at a Brazilian barbeque restaurant, reminisced about old memories through belly-ache laughter and east coast sarcasm, of course.

The following day, I was exhausted. I took about a five-hour nap. Yep. I NEVER take naps. But when I do, something’s up— regardless if I know what’s wrong or subconsciously. You might be thinking, “How can a girl still be tired after ten hours of sleep?”.

Part of it was from the endless meat party (literally) at the Brazilian barbeque place. The other part was the letdown. The let down of what? The let down after a huge milestone, the let down from the realization that I’m going into the adulting world, the letdown and worry about my future, and last but not least, the let down that I no longer have to be a student for at least six months. Okay, maybe the last part isn’t so much a let down as more of a relief, but I’ve been a student for my whole life. Aside from gymnastics, which some of you may know from my previous articles, I am a master of being a student— I love to learn, I love note-taking, and I love having the feeling of finally understanding something and helping someone learn that same concept I struggled on.

Two days later, I felt as if my student identity had been stripped away from me. I thought a part of me had been lost. My anxiety bounced through the walls like a pinball that pings back and forth from the pinball walls. My head filled with too many thoughts, commonly the ones that looked at six months from now to next year and even once I am officially done with school. I tried to pull myself together so many times that I only denied myself in feeling these feelings. I went to the bathroom, wiped my tears away after already had wiped tears beforehand, looked in the mirror and saw a college graduate scared out of her mind. And then I cried again.

I wish I could tell you my stressed/anxious/panic/crying episodes ended after my mom calmed me down that day (shout out to my mom for being my number one support), but sadly it continues to linger like a piece of hair that you swear you can feel on your leg but can’t seem ever to find it. I know that it is “normal” to feel stressed and panicked after graduation, but I still felt like it wasn’t normal. I had this idea that all of my stress and anxiety would be lifted off of my shoulders, that I would change from Lianne “The over-achiever, punctual, perfectionist” to Lianne “The cool as a cucumber, but still successful lady boss.”

Have you ever seen a college-themed movie where students graduate, throw their cap into the air, are all smiles and look straight into the camera as they release a big sigh of relief? And then sometimes, the movie cuts to the character(s)’ life a year or even ten years later to see that they are at peace with themselves? I thought I’d have that too as soon as I graduated too, but sadly, movies don’t show the audience the real side of post-graduation feels. The spin cycle of doubts, the second-guessing, the self-identity crisis, the thought process of Plan A’s and Plan B’s to Plan Z’s, and sometimes crying out of straight fear or locking yourself from the outside of world in a room full of darkness. Might sound too brutal or brutally honest for some, but this is the kind of frankness that needs to be shared. And most importantly, I want you to know that it is okay to panic after graduation and that it is okay to cry it out.

In the end, everything works out. As one of my mentors once told me, and I do encourage you to please comment if you can or can’t relate to this, but I will conclude on this note: It always seems impossible until it’s done.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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