Oh, Shoot! We’re Graduating?

Dealing with graduation anxiety


Natalie Williams

Seniors (from left to right) Caleb Baumgardner, Colt Fredricks, Tate Lewis, Amelia Moeggenborg, and Maddie Stevenson

Natalie Williams

Spring has sprung once again, and graduation is creeping in upon us.  With only eight weeks of school left, we’re making college decisions, deciding to join the workforce or go to trade school, and simply trying to grapple with what our lives are going to look like in the coming months.

 Maybe you’re excited to graduate and move on because all you’ve known the last 13 years is the same school routine and same people.

Like senior Caden Alvey said, “I just want to go to college and get away from here, [and] have a little experience for myself.”

 Or maybe, you’re like me, and are absolutely terrified of leaving without the comfort of really knowing what your life will look like this time next year.

Aside from the thought of leaving, there are lots of other stressors that have been coming in full swing as school comes to a close. Many people are still trying to decide where they want to go to college, and on top of that, are dealing with the stress of trying to receive financial aid to pay for it.  Writing essay after essay in an attempt to prove that you are the best contender for scholarships as the final deadlines are approaching, scrambling to find a roommate, deciding on a major, on top of doing your current high  school homework or working a job.

“It gets really overwhelming, all the options,” senior Tate Lewis said. “Very important decisions that I am not mentally ready to make, but [I] don’t really have a choice about.”

 It’s definitely easy to feel like you’re struggling to stay afloat in the college application process, and like you’re falling behind your peers in conversation during the search for what to do after graduation. The truth is, you’re not behind at all. 

While it may seem like everyone has it all figured out in passing conversation about their plans after high school, most of us don’t have it figured out at all. Everybody is feeling the stress and anxieties about college and graduating, and mourning participating in the things that you love for the last time in high school. It’s a big change to leave the friends and comforts you’ve known at home and at school for the last 13 years of your life. 

Regardless of  whether you’re anxious about graduating or  excited about leaving and being on your own, or if you’re somewhere in between those two, you’re not alone in it. 

So, how do we handle these feelings, and what can we do about it? 

First and foremost, talk to your friends about it. Like I stated before, while you might feel like you’re alone in feeling stressed out and anxious about graduating and everything that comes with it, you most definitely are not the only one who feels that way, and it’s comforting to realize that. 

Secondly, although it feels like it, you definitely do not have to have the next four years of your life planned out right now. You might get to college and decide that the major you had initially decided on isn’t the right one for you, and you may decide that two or three times before you figure out what it is you want to do, and that is okay. You’ll be able to participate in things you never thought about or never have before once you’re in college, and find people that you click with based on who you are and the things you like and are interested in. You will figure it out along the way. 

Lastly, enjoy where you are now. It sounds cliché, but soak up all of the final, fun activities with your friends. You will never be where you are right now, again. Continue to make the most of the end of your senior year.