Graduation is coming, but are you really prepared for what may come after? (Image via EdSurge)
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There you are, taking your last exam ever as a senior, and these questions hit you. What will life really be like after graduation?

Three questions hang over your head as you finish your final exam. The plant behavior class is the only one for the semester that is currently flirting with a failing grade and requires a good performance on the final exam in order to earn a lousy passing grade.

Despite the issue at hand, there were always doubts that you would ever make it to your last exam and finally be able to graduate.

Freshman year tested every ounce of mom and dad’s patience. Between a mediocre GPA and a stint at the Horry County Jail in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the future did not seem bright.

But endless hours working at a sandwich store to pay off the lawyer fees and several successful summer classes made just enough of an argument to allow for sophomore year.

Your second year was a blur. Some friends from freshman year remained, some only became acquaintances from time-to-time, and others waved the white flag after their first year and decided the local sandwich store was their calling in life.

Once again, summer classes — after what was simply explained to the tuition-funders as a “sophomore slump” — made the third year of academics possible.

Junior year was a test of sanity. After nearly three years of sleep deprivation and procrastinating, moving to the Caribbean to open a small sandwich shack that only serves pimento cheese sandwiches and piña coladas seemed rational.

But daydreams of relaxing by the pool with friends after a long day of summer classes provided just enough motivation to make it through the year and limp into senior year.

Your final year is coming to an end. After checking the costs of flights to the Bahamas and then the current state of your checking account, opening the “Piñas and Pimento” shack is deemed implausible.

Even more depressing is the fact that summer classes are no longer an option, but three crucial questions still remain as you finish your final exam.

The thoughts of graduating and entering the real world start to engulf your stream of consciousness as the professor stares eagerly at the only student left in the examination room.

Only one exam stands between the plant behavior enthusiast and her summer, while three important life questions stand between you and graduation.

Just as you are about to finish, a rush of emotion overcomes you, and the life questions with the saddest possible outcomes that could occur after graduation start to blur all concentration.

1. Will you live at home with your parents?

Moving back in with your parents can be bummer (Image via Parent Toolkit)

It’ll be high school all over again. Four years of freedom and having the ability to sleep whenever, eat whatever and pee wherever is going to come to an immediate halt.

Instead of waking up, reminiscing and laughing about the previous night out with friends over some brunch at the local hole-in-the-wall diner, Sunday mornings will be greeted with a cup of tea and a discussion with your parents about the current state of economics in Eastern Europe. All fun is lost.

Sure, there are some upsides: not having to pay rent, the water bill, the cable bill or groceries.

Maybe it’ll be a chance to rekindle the relationship with the family dog, or just pray to God that a childhood friend also moved back home after college so there’s someone else that can sympathize with your current living situation. Misery loves company.

The art of the one-night-stand becomes will be that much harder to perfect. A combination of having to sneak partners past the dog’s bed at 2:30 a.m. without waking what the family calls the “house security system” and then sneaking companions out the door in the morning before mom goes downstairs to start the coffee pot is a tall task.

Maybe just giving up sex until moving back out of mom and dad’s house is the easier thing to do. The real world seems depressing.

2. Do you always have to be on time now?

Getting up in the morning was hard in college, but it’s even harder in the real world (Image via Huffington Post)

Didn’t feel like making it to that 9 a.m. lecture? No problem, a friend can take notes and share them.

Supposed to get coffee on campus with a friend but just completely forgot about it and haven’t seen them in over a year anyway? No worries at all, one lost friend can be made up for when there are several thousands of other people on campus to become friends with.

Showed up to that post-graduation job late for the third time in the past month because, once again, McDonald’s took forever to make that bacon-egg-n-cheese biscuit? You’re fired.

A functional alarm clock will be necessary for the real world. Going to bed before midnight may be a good idea to wake up on time every day to ensure job security.

Being too drunk or too *insert drug’s name here*’d out to function for a day can no longer be excused with “kids will be kids.”

The real world has high expectations for being on time, and the McDonald’s on the way to work doesn’t need to adjust their quality of customer service to anyone’s schedule. Plan accordingly.

3. No more summer or regular classes: Is your undergrad really over?

What do you mean there are no summer classes to take after graduating? (Image via Huffington Post)

Summer classes in college are a little slice of heaven in a world that can sometimes seem evil. Two hours of class in the morning followed by eight hours at the pool, followed by four more hours at the bar, is a Monday through Sunday routine for several months, without any repercussions.

The professor wants to go spend some time at the pool too and makes the class that much easier to accommodate students’ schedule.

Friends who also struggled to keep their grades up during the school year join in the fun, and for those June, July and early August months, the campus is ruled by those who ensure the school’s average GPA isn’t too high.

But it all is about to come to an end. As you finish your last final exam, these questions are hanging over your head, clouding your thoughts.

The images of Coronas by the pool while the professor for the summer class lounges nearby in a pool chair, chanting “A’s for everyone!” consume the mind.

You make a final stance. No longer will you let the world tell you that, “You had a good four years. Time to move on.” It’s time to make a stand.

You rip the exam in half, throw it in the trash and boldly stare the horrified professor in the face and say, “Living back at home and waking up on time every day can wait a couple months. I’ll see you in summer school.”

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Sam Kasierski

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil

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