Ds Scholarship

Advice I wish I knew about . . . college graduation

With graduation nearing in December and the end of my life as a student at Slippery Rock University, I thought about the past 3.5 years and all that I had accomplished. A deluge of mixed emotions took over as the days dwindled here.

The long-awaited constant questions, “What are your plans after college?” and “Do you have a salary?” From friends and family it only adds pressure to my future. But the simple answer is, I don’t know.

I am not ashamed to say that I do not know what my future is now. Normalization that not getting a job immediately after college is important to understanding college graduates. This may not be the ideal scenario for some, but for others, this is what we need.

I’ve recently been asking people older than me, “What did you do right after graduation?” A friend said to me, “I just tried to exist.”

As exciting as graduating from college is, why not talk about the other side? College graduation is sad, scary, stressful, and sometimes frustrating. I love my life at SRU University. I love my apartment, my routine, my friends, my jobs, my teachers. The thought of letting go of something I love so much is heartbreaking.

I have spent the past 3.5 years working hard as a student. Honestly, being a student is all I know. Being in class is where I feel most comfortable. Since the age of five we have spent our lives as students. Now here we are after about 16 years and the student phase of our lives is over.

One of the biggest takeaways from my college experience is that you can’t plan for your future. No matter how hard you try to plan for what happens next or what you want to do after graduation, it always seems like life takes a different path.

In the past few months I’ve tried to change the way I think from feeling like I’m losing a part of my life to realizing that I’m actually gaining a new and exciting part. I haven’t fully experienced the transition from student life to the “real world.” I am currently feeling all the emotions, but through planning activities, trips, etc., it makes me look forward to the future. I’ve found this to be one of the best ways to change my perspective.

Being in college opens your eyes to living on your own, forces you to create a routine for yourself and pushes you to grow more as an adult. I am grateful for all the opportunities, experiences, and lessons I learned when I was a student at SRU. I am grateful to the people I met and the professors who helped me develop as a professional. I know I’ve spent the past few years working hard to get to this point. I am proud of myself for the tough decisions and battles I went through during my undergraduate studies.

It’s okay to take some time to celebrate. It’s okay to spend time relaxing. It’s okay to make time to move around. Not getting a job straight after college is a good thing. Everyone will have their own way. I know I deserve to take the time to embrace my path, celebrate my accomplishments, and be there because I’m used to not being a student.

Although easier said than done, I try to keep telling myself: ignore the pressure, value yourself, and enjoy sitting in class, taking pictures with your friends and giving yourself some credit for getting a college degree.

Morgan is an integrated marketing communications specialty. This is her second semester on the staff of The Rocket as the assistant editor for life on campus. Previously, she was part of the women’s lacrosse team at SRU for two years and was a high school yearbook editor in year two through year one. After graduation, she hopes to work within a marketing team in the DMV area. Outside of The Rocket, Morgan also works in the sports communications division.


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