Finishing college is seen as this celebration period. It is looked at as this huge achievement and you have successfully made it. You are going to get an amazing job in the career you have always dreamed of. You are going to use all the skills you have practised in college to move higher and higher up the career ladder. You’re going to move out of your parents’ house or that shared student accommodation. You’re going to have loads of free time to be with your friends and loads of money to spend on clothes and holidays.
Being a final year student with only a couple of weeks left I should be really excited, right? Unfortunately this is not the reality. The last few weeks of college can be a daunting time for anyone. There are so many questions and uncertainties on what to do over the next few months.
Not only do have you the biggest workload possible but you are going through the emotional roller coaster of knowing you will never sit around and hang out with these people like this again. Everyone will soon be too busy to spend time together because were not in a forced environment where we are confined onto the same campus, which makes interacting with each other a whole lot easier.
Also it will be the first time for a lot of people, not being in education. We spend 17 to 20 years in education and all of a sudden this September or October will come around and you won’t have that ritual of going to classes and lunch with your friends. This is why depression can be common in final year students according to a psychologist in the US, Andy Hogg.
“It’s a major life transition” Hogg said. “So frequently graduation is about a job search, change in relationships, change in residence, everything changes.”
“Probably the most important thing is just to normalise it,” Hogg said. “Feeling stressed during any life transition is completely normal.”
The advice for anyone going through this stress and anxiety can be obvious. Just enjoy the time you have left, be organised and schedule the time needed for assignments or studying for test, keep calm and enjoy your free time but a lot of the time it is difficult to go by these guidelines.
Another obvious stress of graduating is finding a job. Your parents might make jokes about you that you’re going to have loads of money now that you’re done college (ha mom you’re so funny). Often you have to remind yourself that it is not easy to find a job that suits your career path and it can easily take 3 to 6 months. Also nobody expects you to have everything sorted! Nobody is saying “Oh my god do they not have a job yet”. This is your life and anyone who has graduated from college understands that it is a long process and big transition.
The best way to look at this transition is that you have had an experience with amazing and not so amazing people. A lot of things will change as you leave the education system but it will fall into place the way it is supposed to. Also you have all these new and exciting experiences to look forward to. So finish off that assignment due next week and study for that test from the lecture you hate because it will all be worth it when you are smiling back at your grade and throwing you’re cap in the air.