The two-week whirlwind crash of a graduating senior

Photo by Rachel Robertson

Photo by Rachel Robertson

Airbnb reservations, arranging family plane tickets, graduation dress, award ceremonies, planning a trip to Zion, renting a car and the list tumbles on.

I’m sitting in my bed trying to make it stop. Really, I’m thoroughly trying not to think about it at some times, and at other times I cry from the fear of what’s next.

There are two weeks. That’s two weeks until I’m thrown into this tunnel of future darkness and uncertainty.

My professor Dr. Tamara Stevenson has had the best advice so far.

“Don’t make any drastic changes or big decisions in the next few weeks,” Stevenson said. “Don’t cut your hair. Don’t make any life-altering changes.”

Stevenson was addressing our class and telling us our thoughts were clouded. I agree whole-heartedly.

The best thing about Stevenson’s advice was there was no arbitrary lesson on working harder and better for your employer. This is a breath of fresh air, unlike most blog posts about this subject, and I appreciate that.

Graduating high school was clarity. It was ease. It was checking off boxes. I knew that I would be attending Westminster College. I had a picture, there was a set plan, a landing location with a purpose.

Yet, this graduation is like a freaking Picasso painting. I don’t know if it should really look like that or if the entire canvas and frame need to be rotated.

I have always managed my life in calculated steps. Get a job to pay for living expenses. Make sure you set up student loans that are subsidized with a low fixed interest rate. Check.

Get internships so you have real-world experience besides retail and childcare. Okay, check. You need collegiate extracurriculars, too… Okay. Got it! Degree audit? Done.

Well, thanks for playing. And now you pass ‘Go’ and collect… well, you collect a fancy piece of paper and some more debt. Congrats.

Well, fuck. I’ve checked the boxes… now what?

I’m scrambling, scouring the internet with entry-level job searches and telling myself, “You must get a employment. Like now.”

The internet is telling me things like average student debt is $30,000 and ‘Why your liberal arts degree means jack.’ Oh, and how could I forget my personal favorite: the millennial generation is entitled, lazy and unemployable.

Through all this crazy panic, resume sending, and cover lettering crafting I’m missing out on the most important part—the now.

We only graduate here and now once. This is the only moment. I haven’t seen my family since Christmas, and they’re flying here from New Hampshire to watch me walk and spend time with me.

This cluttered, scattered brain is polluting and needs to be stopped. My mission for graduation week is to have my camera with me wherever Igo. I want to capture everything I love and experience.

This is the last time we will be together like this. Our lives are going to part. Friends we see every week on campus and live near will soon relocate. It’s sad, yet fun at the same time—because now you have new places to visit.

Graduation is coming and my wisdom, if you want to call it that, is to soak it in. Let the major life decisions stop for a brief moment, even if it is just graduation weekend. Let’s enjoy the one now that we get.