It is that time of year again. Bare legs are reflecting throughout campus like glow sticks, baseball pants are fitted on those bottoms just right, and graduating seniors are reminiscing on a town they spent four years hating until now.
I am among one of those reminiscent graduates. And I plan on spending a little extra time this spring in Schmeeckle, eating Belt’s ice cream, and spending the few dollars I have left at Partner’s Pub on Wednesday nights.
We reminisce because we like talking about the way things used to be in comparison to the now. It makes us feel warm and happy to think about “simpler times” because for graduating seniors, the now is frightful.
Although I have decided to distance the reality of becoming a real adult with a real job by continuing my education as a graduate student in the fall, I feel for my fellow seniors.
Anxiety is filling their lives the way front row tickets sell for a One Direction concert: rapidly. And even if you are an anxious being, you will never experience such an amount of anxiety until you approach graduation without a plan and presumably unemployed.
And stress is an ugly thing. It will bring you to gas stations to buy Twizzlers and ice cream and lead you back home to cry alone as you consume it in your underwear. It will scare away relationships and it will frighten those sitting near you when you have an ugly tear-filled meltdown at a car dealership.
If you are still an underclassman, I recommend investing some time looking into the future. Research jobs and other opportunities, network, ask tons of questions and edit your cover letter and resume until they glitter.
If you do this, I promise you will be grateful for it because one day you will be crunching around in the fall leaves thinking you are stuck in this town forever and the next you will be donning your cap and gown and staring the real world in the face like a deer in headlights.
But make sure you soak up your time on campus while you still have it. Immerse yourself in the present as much as possible and try not to worry about exams and relationships and bagel flavors because trust me, it will all work out if you want it to.
And most importantly, take risks. Otherwise you will find yourself wondering about all the fun you missed out on and contemplating if you would have hit it off with the guitar player at the end of your freshman dorm hall, had either of you made a move beyond friends.
And soon enough you will be in my boat, listening to that song you played on repeat on your walk to class freshman year, wishing you could go back.