Changing some habitual and known lifestyle comes with a lot of anxiety. Knowing that your life should take a specific turn is frightening and there is a lot of social pressure. I am graduating from college, what should I do next?
The thought of change that comes with graduating
After I finished my exam winter session, I felt restless. I know I am now in the last semester of my bachelor’s degree studies. I am thinking about continuing with my master’s degree, but even if I will continue my education, there will be major changes in my educational and professional life.
My anxiety got even worse. I am now anxious in the least expected moments. I respect my schedule; I fulfill my attributions, but those are done with the underthought that this semester is the last that follows the same pattern I am used with. I am afraid of graduating, of saying goodbye, of leaving this kind of life behind.
This might feel natural. But I clearly remember that I didn’t feel this way in my last year of high-school. That is because I knew what was going to be my following step. I knew what college to choose, and what major. But what about now? The master’s programs in my college are not very interesting for me. And what about a job?
Society expects you to graduate and then find a job in your field. But I don’t feel emotionally ready to focus on a job.
Graduating and becoming a full-time adult
I am not ready to accept this status. Right now, I am still a half-time adult. I cook for myself; I take care of myself, but I am not financially independent. I still depend on some context to manage my material resources. And most of us are the same, even if they have a half-time job. Their major focus is still their education, regardless of their job attributions. That half-time job may be in a different domain, other than their college major.
The thought of working in your domain is hard to process when you don’t feel ready for switching from doing projects, writing essays, doing presentations, and study for the exams, to a professional job that assures your financial well-being.
Maybe the change is hard to accept since in the educations system is easy: your work is grated your efforts are appreciated or not. But if you’re going through a thorough period, and you couldn’t fulfill your attributions, you have other chances. But putting your efforts into a paid job is different. If you can’t fulfill a task, you get paid less or risk even being fired.
Staying in college gives you comfort
Besides the full-time adult and the consequences, college can offer you some advantages you can’t benefit from otherwise. Of course, there are specific advantages to being a full-time worker too. But besides the transportation discounts, there are some chances that you might miss if you lose your status as a student.
For example, applying for scholarships in different countries. I want to apply since I was a freshman, but I felt I wasn’t prepared. Then, in my second year, the pandemic hit. There I am, in my last year, working on my bachelor paper and regretting that I didn’t experience other educational systems.
For me, this is a pretty powerful reason for continuing my studies and getting my master’s degree. I want the comfort of traveling and having some advantages such as accommodation, material support, and healthcare. Of course, all of this in a non-pandemic context. Graduating is not a dead-end.
I am anxious about my future and I don’t feel ready to change my everyday activities that include college requirements to the activities of a full-time adult and worker. What do you feel about your next step in your life?