Stressed Out: Anxiety of graduation

Senior pictures, applying for jobs, cramming for tests and trying to save money. Any of this sound familiar? The graduation season has most people completely overwhelmed, not to mention all the stress and anxiety that comes with it.

Graduation is, of course, an exciting time for many students. You are about set off on life’s path, temporarily free of homework and classes. However, thinking beyond graduation day, the last grueling semester leading up to it can also be stressful.

As a senior, I would say this has been by far the hardest semester physically, emotionally and mentally. All of these emotions tend to elude us because we are so focused on the prize— our hard-earned degree.

Let’s just start from the time you become a senior, when you get all these crazy emails about purchasing your regalia, applying for graduation and the to-do list goes on and on. During your senior year, you have to put in all your final efforts for anything school related, and start preparing yourself for the next chapter in your life.

Unfortunately, you may begin to experience “senioritis,” as some people call it. Seniors may fall into a rut as they near graduation, becoming complacent and slacking. That is the case for many, including myself. I have had many friends say their grades during their senior year were the worst because they stopped caring as much they once did due to the anticipation of graduation.

The real anxiety starts when you have to start looking for jobs, though. You ask yourself, “How am I going to do this? What will be the trickle down effects now that I have earned this degree and venture out into the big leagues?”

You may face rejection because you have no real experience. You may be forced to take a job that you do not like or one that your degree doesn’t apply to. Between bills and soon-to-be student loans, you may feel at an all-time low. A student may be in debt for several years before they have some type of financial freedom.

It is all the tedious things that pile up on us during our senior year. Making sure you are clear for all your classes, and even still, the uncertainty of whether you will pass or fail your classes remains. It all starts to set in and you have to plan accordingly. Sometimes this is not considered, and we assume that because we are graduating, everything will magically fall into place and we will have a newfound freedom. However, we are rewarded one freedom, but now we have to start from scratch again. Finding a job, specifically one that you really like and that relates to what you studied and invested thousands of dollars in, is the hardest after graduation.

Graduation season, nevertheless, is still a time of joy. Sending out the invitations, getting your regalia—it begins to set in that you are done. Time to walk that stage and conquer the next stage in life. Congratulations, seniors. Well done!

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