What’s next? Relief and heartache overshadowed by fear

It’s true that students in their final year feel either relief and heartache as they complete their degree.

There are those who absorb that fresh breeze of relief when the time of sitting in lectures has almost come to an end. Others, to whom college has become much more than an institution, sigh as it is almost time to say goodbye to some of the most wonderful people.

Inevitably, every single one of these students share one thing: fear. Not the kind of fear that you get when watching a horror film, or going on a scary roller-coaster. No, in those cases you know that the movie will end, the ride will finish sooner or later, allowing you to go back to normal.

This is the kind of fear where every inch of your body tenses up and the only question you need an answer to is “What’s next?”.

It’s only as the second semester kicks in, that it all becomes very real. Everyone knows that they will graduate sooner or later, but most of the time you don’t think about it. However, it’s sooner than later that it becomes the only thing you think about, ever.

The fact that your family and friends are always keen to ask about “your plan for the future” doesn’t make it any easier.

All of a sudden, you don’t realise when you begin to view complete strangers by whether they are employed and successful. Subconsciously you begin to think of various routes of how you could get there. And just a tiiiny bit, you can’t help but feel a little jealous to those who’ve already made it, while you sit alone in an empty mac lab at 10pm trying to finish a project that isn’t even marked.

Really, it is the factor of the unknown. There are so many things we hope to do after college: travel, meet new people, go to festivals. The possibilities are endless. But the summer isn’t, and neither is our already scrappy bank account.

The thought of this brings us back to our initial question which very few of us can actually answer. That, inescapably, results in the usual internal PANIC.

There are of course the lucky ones, who know exactly what they would like to do and where they would like to do it. However, most of us genuinely don’t have a clue. And that’s okay, life is all about trial and error. A big part of it is making mistakes so that it takes us where we are supposed to be.

It might take a little longer for some, but we will all get there. After all, we’ll have our big fancy degrees to get us started.

By Ana Kazadojeva

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