After years of cranking out essays in the wee hours the night before it's due, wishing horrible things upon lagging group members and shelling out thousands of dollars in fees and other expenses, I’m finally ready to graduate from college.
It’s been a long time coming and I’m more than ready to get out of here and move on to the next chapter of my life. Ironically, at this point my happiness stems more from just being done with college than starting down the road toward my future.
These opening paragraphs may sound like the bitter diatribe of a jaded college student, but I’m as thrilled as a potential daddy on Maury being told he’s not the father to be graduating.
It’s just that at this point my running in the marathon that is the college experience has me dragging my tired body across the finish line of graduation and thinking about a big break as opposed to rushing over it with a full head of steam, ready to tackle the world.
After five-and-a-half years of traversing the topsy-turvy system of higher education in California, with all its annoying quirks and nuances, all of my energy and enthusiasm for academia has been spent. I’m tired of the stress and demands of school. I’m ready for a new brand of frustration.
However, for some people, the end of college is coming much faster than they want.
Unlike most people I’ve talked to recently, I have no reticence about leaving school and getting out into the “real world,” largely because I’ve been there and I know the challenges it has in store aren’t that different from school in many ways.
Even though the economy is still in the toilet and the job market is sketchier than a Saturday night in Stockton, I’d rather be out there hunting to get a job instead of scrounging to put together a class schedule by going through MySJSU with a fine-tooth comb to find an open seat in a class I don’t want to take anyway.
Any job I could find may very well entail certain duties that I don’t want to deal with either, but at least I’ll be getting paid to become a brain dead drone instead of paying for it.
Dealing with the bureaucracy of government isn’t much different from dealing with some of the incompetence you come across in school anyway.
Making sure you’ve fulfilled requirements, filled out a plethora of paperwork and learning what it takes to get a degree is great practice for dealing with red tape.
Despite this, many of my peers are deathly afraid of finally being shoved out of school.
A recent study by the American Physcological Association says college-aged people, between 18 and 33, report being stressed out more than any other age group, mostly due to concerns with a lack of job security and finances after graduation.
I share those same concerns as well, but I suppose my previous experience in the work force, in dead end jobs with no kind of education to speak of, has me prepared to accept whatever dire circumstances I must deal with in order to survive.
For those of you who are about to graduate and feel nervous about the next step, stop quivering in your boots of foreboding and realize you’re more prepared than you may think.
Just getting through college, especially in today’s America, is a significant achievement in itself.
Tuition keeps rising and graduation requirements seem to get more rigorous by the semester. Going to college is more demanding now than in the past and students are feeling more pressure than ever.
A 2012 study by the American College Counseling Association found that 37.4 percent of college students seeking help have severe psychological problems, up from 16 percent in 2000.
Going to college now is harder than at any time in the past. It’s more expensive and more challenging than anything your predecessors dealt with before.
While part of me feels like a weary traveler at the end of a long journey, I also feel accomplished. I've enjoyed my time in college, but the day comes to embark on a new adventure in life.
Take it from me, if you’re able to survive college you’re well prepared to survive the real world.
I know I’m more than ready to move on.