It has been a strange and winding road. And in less than three weeks, it will all be over. Graduation is upon us.
I’ll be turning 27 the week after graduation. Don’t bother with the math, I graduated high school in 2008. Some advice to anyone heading into college: don’t screw up in your freshman year.
Between work and hanging out with friends I ignored my classes and lost my financial aid. This was entirely my fault, no doubt about it. Because of this, I had to save up and pay out of pocket for individual classes until I could gain that aid back. This set me back considerably from my peers.
It’s not all bad. I saved a considerable amount on loans by paying for those classes. The time gave me opportunity to work hard and learn about finances, networking, customer service and computer repair.
I get upset with people who tell me I’m heading into the “real world.” I’ve been paying bills and living on my own for years!
Even with that, it’s hard not to feel a bit of fear; some tension in my chest. I’m losing the comfortable familiarity of academic life. Now all of this knowledge and these skills I’ve gained will be put to test. Ok, I’m having trouble breathing. When do student loan payments start again? Oh boy.
So, what’s next? What should other soon-to-be-graduates be thinking about?
Make some goals. Take care of yourself. Focus on getting enough sleep, eat a few vegetables if you haven’t in a while, get up and move a bit if that’s not a routine for you. Because if you’re heading into an office job, it will get even harder to start this habit.
If you haven’t already found a job, it’s time to brush up your resume. Start looking for organizations for people in your chosen field to start networking.
For all of us going through this, it’s going to be more important than ever to remain calm. Take the time every day to take a few deep breaths. Think about what you’re doing right today. Take it one day at a time. You are one person and there are 24 hours in a day. There’s always going to be hectic times.
But take a second and smile. You made it through college. All that work and time has culminated to this moment. Congratulations, you did it!
Oh, and kiss summer goodbye, unless you’re going to be a teacher.