Do you remember your first day at school? Do you remember all the unfamiliar faces, the wave of anxiety at every step, trying not to cry and crying anyway? If you do, you’ll know that all those “First day at school” paragraphs were nothing but blatant lies. Even if you don’t, you can imagine how scary that must be for a little child of 3 or 4 years of age, right?
If anything is scarier than that, it is the day you graduate. For the months leading up to your graduation, you will feel the same tension, same uncertainty, and of course, the same fear. And these are the reasons why.
1. You are suddenly an adult
It is easy to keep the real life at an arm’s length when you are a student. You are dependent on your parents, you do not feel the urgency to get a real job. You’re stressing over your grades, you’re hanging out with your friends- that is all your life consists of. But the second you graduate, you start to notice the little things. You start to notice that your father gets a little too tired. You see that your mother isn’t as lively as she used to be. As hard as it is to accept- you realize that your parents ARE getting old, and it’s time for you to take on the responsibilities. And you, who needed permission to stay out past 7 PM just a few days ago, are suddenly left to deal with this enormous truth all by yourself.
2. You have no idea what to do
Here’s the thing- getting a job is hard. It is a lot harder when you don’t exactly know what you want to do. For most of us, we get our degrees in a certain field, and then we realize that working in that field might just be impossible. So, all on a sudden, you don’t know where you want to see yourself in 5 years of time. This is the reason why a lot of fresh graduates grab onto the first job opportunity that they come across, and after 20 years you have an adult who is unhappy with what they have achieved so far.
3. You are expected to have it all figured out.
When you graduate, everyone else seems to know what you should do with your life, except for you. So you’re done with studies? Get ready for BCS, get ready to get married, get ready to “settle down”. You will be constantly reminded that your life should fit into this socially acceptable mold of success- and being different is not an option. Even if you try to be different, you will be weighed down with the guilt of not fitting in. And at some point you will just turn into another brick in the wall.
Alisha Amin, An Economics Graduate from Dhaka University
The years went by preternatural speed. I had thought I had enough time to figure things out by the time I graduate. But truth is I haven’t figured anything out yet. I feel like I’m not any wiser than when I was a freshman.I still don’t know where I’m going with my life
4. You drift apart from your friends.
Everybody gets busy with their own lives after graduation. It might sound crude, but your friends will not have as much time for you once you all get out of university. It is nobody’s fault- it is simply hard to maintain a social life when you’re working from 9 to 5 every day. So from meeting once a week, you will go to meeting once every two weeks, then a month- and before you realize you stop hanging out altogether. And the sheer weight of this realization is enough to throw you off guard, isn’t it?
5. The uncertainty is excruciating.
Up until this point, you have had a clear vision of where you are heading next. But when you graduate, you will realize that you no longer have that vision- and accepting that you are utterly lost will be excruciating. Not knowing if you are cut out for this dog-eat-dog world will take a toll on you. But you will get used to it.
The hardest part of being a graduate is not the uncertainty, nor the responsibilities. It’s the epiphany that you are a grown up now. And unlike when you were 4, you cannot just run from it and hide behind your mother. You have to take every hit, and breaking down under the pressure is not an option anymore. If that is not scary, what is?
But we have scared you enough. Don’t let us get to your head and thrive. We wish you all the best for this upcoming stage of your life. Cheers!