I felt a pit in my stomach as I observed the people passing by me on campus today. I realized that most of my friends have either graduated or I never see anymore. Most of my friends are also so ultra busy that we have trouble lining up our schedules to catch up. Mainly, most of these people I have never seen in my life and I feel like they are children when I look at them.
I remember feeling like this in high school–being a senior made me feel old and like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders compared to those younger than me. I guess that sort of thing happens again in college but on a more extreme level.
I am living between two world right now; The academic world and the working world. When I come to campus from work I feel weirdly unmotivated and confused as to why I am here but I know that I still have to finish my degree. My brain has nearly tricked myself into thinking that I am done since I am in a work environment so much. Needless to say, I am pretty ready to fully enter the professional world and complete my degree.
Since I was a child, I have always felt distant from people my age. There were always the select few that I felt I connected with, but it was a bit of a rare occurrence. I’ve always had friends who were older than me and I always enjoyed talking to adults when I was younger.
It’s hard to really internalize where I am in my life. As I am looking for jobs and talking to potential employers, I feel so excited yet simultaneously surprised that this is really happening. I’ve wanted to be right where I am for as long as I can remember so it’s hard to believe that I am actually here and I am about graduate.
I know that people experience a whole range of emotions through their senior year, in particular their last semester. I hope that everyone knows that is OK and to be expected.
College doesn’t prepare you for the professional world. It just doesn’t. I can run 10,000 regressions and write 50 persuasive essays but if I cannot communicate effectively with a co-worker or navigate the waters of wage negotiation I am going to sink. It takes a certain level of strategic understanding and emotional intelligence to actually get what you want and deserve outside of these academic walls. I have learned perseverance, teamwork, and tolerance in college–yet I have learned so many more valuable lessons outside of the classroom. Studying abroad was one of the most crucial times of development in my life thus far. I’ve learned more dealing with traveling alone, deaths in my family, moving into/out of an apartment, dating a jerk, losing friends, gaining friends, traveling with my choir, etc..
I have allowed these experiences to mold me into who I am. I think that is a distinct difference of those who grow and those who either stagnate or regress from experiencing great challenge.I encourage you to allow yourself to grow into the person that you are.
I have, and that has made all the difference in my life.