Whoever said senior year of college was easy is a bold-faced, raggedy, lie. Sorry, not sorry. I have never experienced such high levels of stress and anxiety ever in my life. I prepared myself, or at least I attempted to. I definitely knew it would be difficult. I knew it would take me out of my comfort zone and keep me there. I knew it would challenge me in ways I never thought possible.
It wasn't like senior year of high school. Oh, no. Senior year of high school was filled with thoughts such as, Yes! Finally! I get to go to college and be grown and do whatever I want and go wherever I want, whenever I want! Senior year of college was definitely the complete opposite. It was more along the lines of, Okay...like...what now? Do I...go to grad school and rack up thousands of dollars in debt? Do I...go get a job that's not really what I want to do and won't make me happy, but it pays the bills? Do I...do nothing? How do I start the rest of my life?
Having to deal with all of the feelings of self-doubt, coming to terms with the reality that such a significant chapter of my life was nearing its end, being heavily involved, all on top of the never-ending school work was extremely overwhelming. I didn't have time for much of anything (including my blog *sad face emoji*).
Although I was overwhelmed, I knew I had to have a plan. Because me, being the control-freak that I am, couldn't enter the beginning of the end of my college career without one. It wasn't until after I applied to three grad schools and a few assistantships that I realized I was sick and tired of school. I was hashtag over it. But can you blame me? From pre-school to college, I was in school for eighteen years, including the summers I spent as a kid doing research, at summer science and math programs, and summer bridge books that my mom made me complete. My honor's senior thesis (that was required to graduate) ended up being about 70 pages. I needed a break. It was then I shifted my focus to applying for jobs so I could start my career. After three interviews with three different companies, I finally decided to accept an offer, and I felt a little bit more relieved, but not too much.
On May 15, 2016, I became an Alumna of the incomparable Spelman College. And while it felt like my time there dragged on, in reality, it happened so fast. I look back on my college experience and I'm shocked at how much I've learned and at how much I've grown. Today marks two months since I graduated, as well as the end of my first full week of working as a full-time employee in corporate America. And to be perfectly honest, entering this new chapter, I am scared as hell. My mind is constantly consumed with "what-ifs". What if this isn't what I'm supposed to be doing right now? What if I mess up at work? What if I mess up so badly I lose my job? What if I'm stuck in this phase of life for the rest of my life? What if I fail? This is my life. There's no more playing, no more second chances, no more being tried as a juvenile (just kidding), no more time for games.
It's always intrigued me that graduation ceremonies are called "commencement". I attended so many graduations before I even thought to look up what the word meant. We associate the word "commencement" with marking the end of an academic journey, but it really means "beginning" or "start". What a coincidence... that one of the most significant "endings" in life, really just means another beginning. As I sat in the Georgia World Conference Center, donned in my graduation regalia, surrounded by 506 of my fellow graduates, listening (or dozing off) to Loretta Lynch's speech, it really hit me that life is filled with "commencements" that don't involve a cap and gown. As a 22-year-old, I have so many commencements ahead of me. Careers, owning many different businesses, getting married, getting a mortgage, having children, going to graduate school, etc. It was one of those moments in life where you remember that life is about new beginnings and about experiencing times of change. It was one of those moments when you realize every single day is a commencement within itself.
I've decided to take this blog on a different trajectory; one that focuses more on my transition from life as a college student to life as an adult. My life as a grown woman, in my first apartment, how annoying it's been trying to furnish it, purchasing my own car, getting used to being surrounded by Dwights again, traveling, drinking bottomless mimosas, and living the life I've always wanted to live.
Let it begin. The beginning of the rest my life. This is me, focusing on my future and commencing adulthood...or whatever.