If you’ll be graduating in twelve months and find that thought completely unbelievable, I’m right there with you.
By Sophie Hurlock, Xavier University
Dear Class of 2018,
Are you freaking out as much as I am right now?
In just twelve short months you’ll have graduated, or at least be about to graduate, and on your way to either look for a job or continue your education. Four years of college really went by a lot faster than four years of high school, didn’t it? And if you’re anything like me, being twenty-one years old and months away from senior year seemed ages away, even just a year ago.
Really, where did the time go? It seemed like only yesterday that we were excited college freshmen, headed out to our first college party and nervously sipping cheap beer to try and look cool in front of the upperclassman. Now, your worries have switched from shedding your lame high school skin to cramming in as many last-minute internships as you can to make sure your resume stands out.
Moving into the adult world is scary, I know. Yes, you’ve technically been an adult for the past three years, but it hasn’t always felt that way. You’ve taken on more responsibilities since going to school, and you don’t have mom there nagging you to wake up for school or chewing you out for underperforming in calculus, but most of the stress-inducing adult tasks have, by and large, still been taken care of by your parents. And, let’s face it—it’s hard to feel like an adult when you’re waking up hungover on a Monday morning, trying to decide if you really need to go to that 8 a.m. that you stupidly signed up for. But, ready or not, the real world is knocking. Life doesn’t slow down for anyone, and that’s what makes it all so terrifying.
Well, I have some good news for you. In case you haven’t already noticed, no one really knows what they’re doing. Sure, your friends may look like they’re in control, or at least think they are, but in reality, a lot of major factors that will decide the next few years of your life remain completely out of your control. Life is unpredictable, so instead of freaking out about the future, just try and soak up the now.
For example, did you know that this is probably the last summer break you’re ever going to have? Next summer, you’ll either have a job (if you’re lucky) or you’ll be looking for one. And I’m sure no matter how cool your future employer may be, they’re not going to give you three months off when the weather warms up.
I know what you’re thinking—what with your resume-building job and all, you barely have a summer break now!
I myself am feeling a little overwhelmed, as my spring internship with Study Breaks is still going and I just started another internship last week, but it’s still important to make the most of this summer as you can. In whatever time you have off, relive your high school summers. Go to concerts or on road trips with your friends, explore your town and the destinations around it, maybe even go on a family vacation while you have the time. Who knows when you’ll have this much free time again.
As sad as you may feel returning to school for your last year, look at your final year of college as a year to do everything you missed out on your first three years. As a Xavier student, one thing I’d like to catch up on is going to basketball games. Every year, I say I’m going to attend more basketball games, only for that promise to end up at the bottom of my to-do list and forgotten. Make a bucket list and try your hardest to complete each item. Sure, you still need to focus on academics, but make sure to carve out time for sporting events and parties, because you’ll cherish those memories more than you’ll remember bingeing Netflix. Create the moments while you can, because you may be doing some of this stuff for the last time. Plus, who knows what will happen to your friend group at the end of the year?
Class of 2018, I know you’re feeling a mix of emotions right now. As sad as you may be to be leaving the school that you’ve called home for the past four years, remember that graduation is a time for celebration. You’ve definitely earned it, what with all the late-night study sessions, the panicking over that one class you miraculously passed and the times you persevered despite feeling overwhelmed.
The adult world is scary, but no one really knows what they’re doing until they’re thrown out into it. You’re capable of more than you know. In a year from now, I want you to walk across that graduation stage with pride knowing that you did something that not everyone can do. Our time at school may be coming to an end, class of 2018, but let’s make this final year something to remember.