Everyone told me the four years of college would fly by, but I wasn’t so sure. Now as I’m sitting here writing this, four years have flown by and I’m graduating from college. It’s an exciting feeling but it’s very bittersweet. No one really prepares you for the feeling of being lost, slightly depressed, and somewhat scared.
No one wants to talk about it, but don’t worry, you’re not alone.
On to a new chapter…
It’s the end of a big part of your life, so it’s normal to be scared. But with each day that passes, I’m starting to feel that fear of lack of structure start to drift away. You have to realize that although this chapter is ending, a new one is beginning. Maybe you’re like me and you have no idea how that chapter will start. Maybe you’re already writing it. Either way, it’s new and fresh and you should be excited about it.
Since you have no obligations, it gives you time to explore what you really want to be doing with your life. Where do you want to go? What do you want to experience? What do you want to try? Maybe you want to travel or you want to be more spontaneous. Listen to what your inner voice is telling you and figure out what it’s curious about. If you aren’t going to jump into a full time job right away, take the time to satisfy those curiosities.
When you don’t have to wake up for your 8am classes or rush out the door to your internship, it can be hard to get up and get going. Since we’ve been used to the schedule of many years of schooling, find a way to incorporate your own set routine. Maybe it’s something as small as waking up the same time every day and working out, or doing a nightly ritual. Whatever it may be, humans like routine and structure, so give yourself that.
This is also a great time to set goals. Since you have this wide open place of opportunity that lies before you, start writing down your goals. Let your imagination run free, don’t limit yourself! You can categorize your ideas by those that are more attainable within the near future and those that might be more realistic for a later date. Just putting those goals out there makes you more inclined to take the necessary steps to get there at some point.
Remember that although you may be scared about the uncertainty of the future (I certainly am) there are endless opportunities. That’s not to say you won’t make any mistakes or regret some decisions, but it’s all a learning experience. You won’t learn new things if you don’t take risks.
As of now I still have no idea where I’ll be at the start of 2019. I’ve never looked ahead at my future and saw a blank slate. The thought of that is honestly terrifying to me, but I’m excited about it. A year or two ago, that uncertainty would probably have given me a heart attack. Now I’m shifting my perspective and trying to use this unpredictability to my advantage. Who knows where I’ll end up, I just want to go enthusiastically towards my future. I’m in control of where I end up, because ultimately I will choose the path that makes me the happiest. That’s the most important advice. Decide for you, not anyone else. If you’ve always followed others’ advice, start listening to your inner desires and emotions. Only you know what truly makes you happy, so follow that.