By: Miranda Mowrey, Columnist
Views expressed in opinion columns are the author’s own.
Is it really senior year if you and your roommates aren’t having recurring mental breakdowns about post-grad life? College seniors everywhere are sharing the same anxieties and worries about the unknowns of life after college.
For me, there are instances where I find myself petting the shaggy, stained carpet of my college apartment, staring off into the distance, and wondering if I should just pack up and move to Mexico to avoid dealing with the real world. These instances are becoming alarmingly more frequent.
If you have yet to achieve the acceptance phase of grieving the end of college, I will spell it out for you. Simply put, we are kissing the good life of living a quick walk away from our best friends goodbye. We’re now welcoming a lot more responsibility and acknowledging that the most exciting thing about our Tuesday night is going to be a new episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”
As May creeps closer, us seniors are bracing ourselves for arguably one of the biggest transitions we will go through. No matter how exciting our next stage of life might be, it is still terrifying to navigate not only the uncertainty of what the future holds, but the uncertainty of how we will feel about what the future holds.
If you’re applying to graduate school, you are probably unsure of where you will be accepted, if you will have to move, or whether you can physically, emotionally, and financially make it through a few more years of school. If you are entering the workforce after college, you probably have no clue where you will be offered a job, if you will even like your job, and if your job will be able to pay the bills.
On top of this uncertainty, the mystery about what future life will look like as we recover from a global pandemic is felt by everyone. The stress of applying to jobs and graduate schools is usually balanced out by fun, but our senior year has been stripped of its perks, making it hard to find an escape from anxious thoughts and feelings about the future.
I know I probably just made you feel even worse but that is not my goal. We all need to attempt to reframe our thinking in order to see the beauty in the situation. In any challenging time, it is crucial to search for the light in the darkness, no matter how challenging it is. It is easy to feel bad for ourselves and sulk in self pity, but it is much more rewarding to shift our perspective.
Here are some positive affirmations to tell yourself to help ease the anxieties of the unknown:
- Life would be super boring if it were always the same. Transition periods are scary but also necessary in order to keep life interesting!
- Unlike other transitions in life, the transition from college gives us the greatest opportunity to set ourselves up for success. We are in control of what path we take. So, you want a house on the water and a big backyard for your golden retriever to play fetch in? You can achieve all of that if you focus, stay motivated, and go out there and earn it!
- You are not alone. Almost four million people graduate from college every year, and they are all in the same boat as you!
- Think back to when you were applying to colleges. Transitioning from a simple high school life to a more complex college life is not easy for anyone, yet, you did it! So you can do this, too.
- Flowers grow when it rains. Diamonds form under pressure. This challenge is molding you to be a strong, resilient person.
While these are affirmations that I came up with on my own, you’re welcome to create your own!
All in all, there is no doubt this time is stressful, but the stress won’t go away by sulking about it. What will help reduce the stress is reframing your mindset to see the positives in the situation. Remember, we all are just bits of dust on a floating rock that is circling a ball of fire in a dark abyss we call space and nothing man created really matters anyways.