Why Graduation is Terrifying and Exciting All at the Same Time


As I am in the midst of my last week of finals ever, there are quite a bit of different emotions coming up than any other finals weeks I have not experienced during this time. Every undergraduate knows the stress that occurs during this week. The amount of information we are expected to be tested on and the inhumanely about of knowledge we are trying to cram into our brains can be exhausting as well as stressful. This stress is something I saw coming and am used to. However, being a graduating senior makes the more of emotional and sentimental feelings that come up throughout the week. Walking onto campus this week was a different experience; I looked around and saw all the chairs and stages for commencement being set up and graduation became real and lead to this complex mixture fear and excitement.

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Being a senior I learned that I have a normal finals week routine and the amount of stress and more negative feelings come out, but the positive feeling of complete excitement and anticipation of graduation is upon me. The excitement that I will finally be done with taking tests and being graded is finally going to be past me. Seeing all the signs, emails, facebook and instagram pictures is all so exciting. This chapter in my life is over, and I am so thrilled to be moving on into the rest of my life. Everything from the time I was a child lead up to this. It is what I have been working towards for the majority of my lifetime  and its so exciting that I am so close to accomplishing the biggest and most anticipated event of my life.

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This excitement of going to the next chapter of my life that is a mystery is also accompanied by a fear that is petrifying. The unknown, uncertainty, and the limitlessness of real life is what is terrifying. Up until now I have always been graded and life was “pass or fail” or “good grade or bad grade.” I am now entering real life, where a syllabus or rubric isn’t handed out telling us what is expected and what is expected of me. Life is full of freedom and opportunity and is our one and only shot to make the most out of what we are doing with it. It doesn’t need a grading scale, we create our own motivations to do the best work we can. For someone like myself who hasn’t found their niche as far as a career goes, this can seem so scary! A part of life where I don’t have to follow guidelines, and I am my own supervisor of my entire life and I am fully responsible for my actions in order to pursue true happiness is a bit frightening, to say the least. The fear is that I don’t know my future and I don’t have any specific goals or deadlines, my education timeline is over and its time to face this big bad world.

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How do we cope? All of these emotions: stress, fear, and excitement are all real and all happening. The most I can say for myself is that I am taking it day by day to accomplish the biggest moment of my life. The stress I have to pass and do well on my finals should also apply to fear that I am experiencing about the future. The stress should be a motivator in the future to get out and get a career. The fear that I am experiencing about the uncertainty of life is also an indicator of being so incredibly excited to step into a life full of potential. If I walk off the stage with my BA in communications, and have only learned one thing, I was that I need to analyze every situation and decision because there are so many layers to every situation and seeing all the points of views and options, I am able to make the best informed decision. This will lead me in the right direction for what ever my next step is.


Happy Graduation!