A personal note on graduation anxiety: The baggage that comes with graduating college and life thereafter

Photo courtesy of Albert Vincent Wu

Two more weeks. Graduation is almost here, and for some students, the anxieties of graduating and taking the leap into corporate America can seem daunting. At least, that’s where I stand. Two more weeks. Then what?

Throughout my college career, I have pondered whether or not I chose the right major for my lifestyle, and now that I am at the end of my four years at Boise State, I am unsure. I love writing, and I love what I have learned over the course of my time here at the university. However, I do consider the missed opportunities of becoming a nurse or even an accountant. 

I applied to Boise State as a global studies major, but that interest quickly changed when I realized that geography and political business were not my strong suits. Choosing to take a media class and becoming a staff writer under The Arbiter was one of the best decisions I had made in my college career. I wrote many successful articles and created a strong network of people with whom I can connect with after I graduate. 

Even with this, though, I feel uneasy about graduating. After 15 consecutive years in school, I worry that my routine will be disturbed. As many of us are, I am immune to the routine of getting up, attending class and going home to work on my assignments. This has been the case since elementary school, but the difficulty always increased as the years progressed.

Now what?

I am graduating and do not have a job lined up after college. I have my regular 9-5 that I work during the week, but it’s not a “forever job.” I do not know what my forever job is. 

The anxieties and feelings of anticipation are all there, waiting for me, but I am confident that I will be able to navigate a whole new world and find what works for me and my interests.

[A student holds up their graduation cap.]
Photo courtesy of Albert Vincent Wu

I studied abroad in Spain, and have visited many states within our country, but I am not satisfied with settling for an average job and an average life. I want to excel past college and I want to be successful; but with the lack of guidance, I feel unsure and unconfident as to where I am supposed to go once I graduate.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of November 2022, the unemployment rate stands at 3.7%. Luckily for us 2022 graduates, the National Association of Colleges and Employers have reported that the surveyed employers hire 31.6% more college graduates from the class of 2022 than the class of 2021. 

In September 2022, according to Statista, the recent college graduate unemployment rate stood at about 4.0%. This number has decreased abundantly, considering that in September 2020, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates stood at about 9.0%. 

These numbers are promising, but the major I am in is not. Journalism, at least in the print medium, is a dying business. My hope is that the digital divide can close and bring journalism to a younger demographic. 

I always thought about taking a gap year in between high school and college, but decided not to because of familial influence and the mere fact that I wanted to get through college quickly. Now, the time has come, and I have the freedom to take as many gap years as I want. However, I don’t want this to hinder my drive and motivation to find a successful career. 

I do not want to settle into a 9-5 cubicle job for the rest of my life, but instead, I want to explore the places around me and work with people who I have never met before. 

I understand the cliche that the world is my oyster, but how I choose to live my life is now entirely up to me. For years, I have always been told how to live and what to take interest in. But now that I am not surrounded by professors and like minded-students, I am thrilled to cross that threshold into what we all know as “the real world.”

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