Realization of post-graduation sinks in

I was hit with a sudden realization the other week while watching a movie trailer. When I saw the film’s release date of July 25, I realized that for the first time in my life I have no clue where I will be when that day rolls around.

I am graduating on May 16 and anything beyond that date is a blank space in the book of my life. While other people may tell you that feeling of mystery and freedom is exhilarating, I will not. I will tell you that I am scared pantsless of all that uncertainty.

Adding to that uncertainty is a bit of  “advice” I was given back in October. During a lecture I attended in Syracuse, an NPR bigwig shared his advice for aspiring journalists: “Get your real estate license.” This successful journalist, who just spent an hour talking about how the industry was thriving, told me journalism was dead and I should get out while I could. Even though professors and other professionals in the field have since assured me that journalism is very much alive, I can’t help but hear his words ring out when I become mired in self-doubt.

Rather than let my fears get me down, I have been attempting to use this worry as fuel. I have spent hours trying to create certainties in the future by crafting my resume, attempting to understand what the heck a cover letter is, applying to jobs and creating a budget for the imaginary salary I don’t have from a job I’ve yet to secure.

As a graduating senior with a life full of uncertainty, it is easy for all of the possibilities to be overwhelming. It is easy to look back and see what should’ve been done differently in the past to make the road ahead easier and more secure. Sure, I could’ve studied more, gotten involved with more organizations and skipped fewer classes, but these regrets serve no purpose right now other than to make me feel worse. Instead the best I can do is learn from these mistakes. After all, learning is what college is for.

And the learning should not stop on May 16. Continuing to learn, strive and become better is the best anyone can do when they leave college. It is essential for survival in the “real world.” It’s why I’m glad I am in a major I am passionate about so I will enjoy learning more as I continue into a career I love. Ceasing to learn will lead to complacency, and if I stop learning, I might as well give in and get my real estate license. But, if I continue to chase my passion and grow, perhaps that uncertainty come graduation will become a little less frightening and maybe even a little exhilarating.