Your high school graduation is a time of almost unprecedented excitement and optimism. Your initial excitement you feel while walking across the stage in front of your teachers, classmates, and all of your classmates’ loud families, eventually fades into more excitement. You party all weekend, and eventually woke up hung-over, with only summer vacation and your beautiful college future staring back at you.
College graduation is a similar but all too different story. The feeling of completing a college education — a worthwhile achievement if there ever was one — is unmatched. It comes attached with a sense of pride and accomplishment that just doesn’t come with a high school diploma. For most people, a high school diploma was just part of the regular programming. After watching how many of your friends floundered and failed to earn a college degree as planned, you have probably come to realize just how impressive an achievement it really is.
The excitement you feel when walking across the stage in front of your teachers, classmates, and your classmates’ even louder families, eventually fades into an odd anxiety — something resembling emptiness and uncertainty. You party all weekend — probably significantly harder than you could back in your hometown with your high school friends — and eventually wake up with one of the worst hangovers you have ever had. Staring back at you, is the rest of your life.
Whether you went to Pepperdine University or University of Pittsburgh, graduating is equal parts joyful and terrifying. You know that you need to start making money, you know that you are starting the rest of your life. You even know you will probably never see any of your college friends again. But here is what you don’t know about your life after college, because no one has told you until now.
You are Going to be Lonely
After four long years of college, you are probably not just tired of classes. You are probably tired of the parts of college you used to love as well. The long, exciting nights, the constant chances to make new friends, the endless opportunities to socialize. Being surrounded by people your age at all times may have been refreshing at first, but four years later, you are probably ready for a breather. But what you will learn quickly is how strange it is to suddenly be outside of the college environment.
Your Job Won’t Solve all of Your Problems
In the lead up to your graduation, so much is made out of getting a job as soon as humanly possible. And you will certainly need to in order to pay bills and eat, and things of that nature. But once you get a job, your life won’t be perfect. You are still a complex human being who needs more than just money.
You will Never Stop Changing
People think that after they have completed their education, they are the person who they will be forever. Life is adaptation though. You will never settle, and you can always get better.