In a week, I’ll officially be a college graduate. I will move out of my college town, in search of greener pastures. I will renounce the identity of “student”, which I’ve held for about 20 years. I will have to make new friends, form a new identity and juggle the coinciding demands of the professional, social and familial worlds.
I’ve been torturing myself with this question for a while now: “What have I learned? Have I learned anything?”. I mean, 4 years and beaucoup dollars later, I should have plenty to say about what I learned, how I’m prepared and what I’m looking forward to. After all, this was the goal. All of my academic life has been preparing me for this moment.
If there’s one thing, I’m taking with me, it’s this lesson that I keep learning over and over. You will have the answer when it’s time to have the answer.
All my life, I’ve been the kid who was always looking up. In grade school, I looked forward to secondary school, by asking questions, by reading books that, most of the times, were way above my comprehension level. In middle school, I was watching high schoolers closely. In high school, I read everything I could get my hands on about college. In college, I got addicted to “career” blogs. I called it “Preparation”. I never wanted to be surprised by anything, though that is what often happened. I wanted to be prepared and ready for the ‘next step’.
These bouts of “preparation” usually came when I’m supposed to be doing something else…like studying for an exam. My procrastination excuses were that, I was doing something useful, something more important than absorbing a large amount of information to regurgitate later. Despite my “preparation” however, things didn’t come easier when I faced them. They got easier with practice, sometimes trial and error, sometimes with guidance. I got through them, once I started to tackle them.
So now, I’m tempted to start my “preparation” phase. I’m tempted to start reading up on what to expect as a post-graduate 20-something young adult navigating the bizarre labyrinth that is life. Who am I kidding, I started doing that, freshman year. But despite my trepidations, I hope to have this lesson, etched firmly on my heart: “Worrying does not mean you care. Stressing about the future does not mean you really care about it. You will find the tools, the determination and the wisdom to cross different bridges when you get to each one of them”.
In the meantime, I will do my best to finish what’s in front of me: classes, presentations, job searching, my very own ‘make-the-most-out-of-your-last-week’ to-do list.