For The College Grad Who Isn’t Sure How To Feel

Luftphilia
Luftphilia

Everything has changed.
And yet, nothing has changed.

Here you are, four years later, standing at the exact same spot you were as a freshman. Tugging on the cords of your graduation gown, messing with the stupid cap that never seems to sit right on your head.

You feel just as nervous, just as jittery as you did post-high school, where you were trying so desperately to look like you had it all together, like you weren’t at all nervous for going to college, for finding friends, for moving out of your parents’ house and semi-starting your adult life.

You’re standing in the same position, just as hot in your too big, too long gown, wondering how you’re supposed to feel right now. Happy, of course. Proud, maybe. Accomplished. Ready. Confident. It’s not that you’re not those things, but those things are mixed with indecision, fear, confusion, and well, slightly nauseous because damn, it’s 2016, can they better ventilate these graduation halls???

To be honest, you’re not really sure how to feel.

But here you are, circled back to being a freshman. A person who’s filled with wondering, questioning, curiosity, and stomach butterflies.

Everything has changed in the last four years—your friends, your faith, your skills, your reactions to things. You’ve learned how to do so much on your own, you’ve learned how to be confident, to balance school and work and friends, and you’ve learned that alcohol can be great…but also freaking terrible.

You’ve learned so much about who you are.

And as you sit, waiting for your diploma, thousands of other hot bodies in the seats around you, you realize that you have grown up in so many ways. And that’s something to be proud of.

But you can’t be afraid of what’s coming next.

This moment, this place that you’re standing, this graduation and not knowing how to really feel—none of this is different from your freshman year.

The uncertainty, the excited-nervousness, the feeling ill prepared—this is a natural part of transition. This feeling hasn’t changed, and won’t change.

It’s natural.

So embrace it. Embrace the happy-sad, the nostalgia, the pumped-but-also-totally-freaking-out, the feeling like a freshman all over again.

These are a natural part of growing, of reaching an end, of starting a new beginning. And as you walk across that stage, that’s exactly what you’re doing—closing one door, opening another.

Everything is a balance.

Changing, staying the same, becoming. Becoming you.
Trust the process. You’re right where you’re supposed to be. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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