1. The Nostalgia Trip
It’s everywhere. Every bench you’ve ever napped on and every hallway you’ve gotten lost in will trigger intense sadness that such a wonderful time of your life is coming to an end.
2. The Anti-Nostalgia Trip
This will happen right when you’re in the trenches studying for your last round of finals. You’ll gaze out over the sea of textbooks and half-assed notes, and think UGH. I can’t wait to be done with all of this. I WILL NOT MISS ANY OF THIS.
3. The Last Time Lament
OMG this is the last time I’m going to buy coffee from my favorite campus coffee shop as a student. OMG this is the last time I’m going to walk through these book stacks as a student. OMG this is the last time I’m going to… repeat endlessly until graduation.
4. The Resource Realization
When you get close to graduation, you become hyper-aware of all the great campus resources you didn’t take advantage of as a student. Who knew your school had a test bank?? And a racquetball court??? And the film majors had monthly screenings of classic films??? Damn it. Of course, they’re only available to current students, so you wave as the boat you missed disappears into the distance.
5. The Deny-Everything-Until-It’s-True
Everything is going to be fiiiiiiiiine. I have my campus job until summer ends, and my lease isn’t up until August, so I’m set for a while. Well, until August, and by then I’ll tooooooootally have everything figured out. I’ll be fiiiiiine.
6. The Panic Attack
Everything is not going to be fine. What happens after graduation? What am I doing with my life? Did I pick the right major? Does a major even matter after graduation? THE FUTURE IS MORE TERRIFYING THAN AUSTRALIAN SPIDERS.
7. The Delay Tactics
You look into picking up a minor, because what’s one more year of college? You’re sure that a minor in Celtic Musicology will definitely help you in the long run.
8. The Bucket List
You’ll overhear some freshmen talking about the cool campus adventures they’re going to do and it hits you. You never did any of those fun things your Orientation Counselor told you to do. You thought you had ages to explore the forbidden tunnels under campus, and now you’re days away from graduating, and haven’t done any of it! You draft a list of everything you need to do before Friday and swear you’re going to do all of it.
9. The Unsolicited Grandmother Willow
You feel the need to share your wisdom with every student you come across that’s not graduating yet. It goes by so fast. Enjoy every second. Keep in touch with the people from your internships. Frat parties aren’t all that. Don’t wait until the week of graduation to look for extra grad ceremony tickets. You won’t find any.
10. The Grad School Consideration
In your panic of thinking about the completely unknown future, you’ll seriously consider applying to grad school, because school is a surprisingly comforting place. It’s much better to be a student than an unemployed college grad who has no idea what they really want to do in life, right?
11. The Fuck-It Study Session
It’s the last college final. You’re so close to being done, and you have an intense urge to declare, “FUCK FINALS” and wing it one last time. You’re so close to being done, what difference does it make if you end a bit early?
12. The Last-Last-Second Cramming
You finally emerge from your Fuck Finals phase, and realize that you actually need to pass this last class in order to graduate, so FUCK. Study like your diploma depends on it… because it does.
13. The Philosophy Major
You didn’t actually major in philosophy, but that doesn’t mean you don’t stop and contemplate the meaning of life, and just how short and fleeting it is. You started school four years ago, and it flew by. Is that what the next four years is going to do? (ad infinitum until you’re 85)
14. The Complete Terror
It’s the morning of your graduation ceremony, you’ve just caught a glimpse of yourself in your robes, and it feels like that moment at the top of a roller coaster‘s highest peak, when you realize what you’re about to do and OH FUCK. I’M NOT READY. LET ME OFF NOW.
15. The Complete Terror, Part 2
The tassels have been turned, and you’re officially a college graduate. The fears haven’t melted away as you had hoped. If anything they’ve amplified, but the fear of the future has evolved to include an immense excitement for all the possibilities it holds as well. So, here it goes!