Resources for Graduation Event Professionals

One graduate's perspective in the final days before commencement

Editor's note: Kathleen is a marketing assistant for GradImages, and graduated from Florida State University on May 3, 2014 with a degree in Sports Management.  This was written before her graduation, and is part one of a short series that will follow her through graduation into post-college life.

Kathleen CadayGraduation is considered to be one of the biggest days of your life. Whether you’re graduating from high school or college, it is an important event. In my case, I am fortunate enough to be graduating from college in just a few days. However, I can’t seem to muster up any excitement for graduation. In fact, I’ve even tried convincing my mom that I shouldn’t walk at the commencement.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about the fact I no longer have to drag myself out of bed every morning to go to class, fight for parking in the student lots and the best part, no more homework! I can kiss essays and long hours of studying good bye!

What I'm Really Feeling

However, the excitement about graduation is just not all there for me right now. I feel like I should be enjoying these last few days as an undergraduate and looking forward to walking across that stage. Instead, I find myself in a bit of a funk. I am actually dreading graduation, and wish I could just crawl into bed and catch up on all the reality shows I’ve missed while I was busy trying to balance two jobs and my last semester in college.

Florida State University commencementTrust me: I really want to feel excited for graduation. It’s a day to celebrate all your accomplishments! However, the uncertainty about life afterwards has gotten the best of me. I no longer have the comfort of relying on the help of financial aid, the professors that have cut me some slack will soon be a part of my past and the carefree lifestyle with my favorite group of friends will become a memory. The only things I have to look forward to are student loans, scary bosses and getting older. Which doesn’t sound enticing at all. The last semester of college has given me a taste of the “real world” and I did not like it one bit. Gone are the days of just laying lazy by the pool. Now I have to live vicariously through other students taking in the sun rays. As a child I’ve always said, “I can’t wait to grow up!” The thought of it seemed so exciting to me and I wanted so badly to become an adult. I wanted my own house, my own car and do whatever my adult heart pleases! Well, adulthood is staring me right in the face and I can’t help but want to run away.

Transition into Adulthood

Graduation is a transition into adulthood, which is why I’m so afraid for that day to come. Am I really ready to be out in the real world? Will the things I learned in my undergrad even matter? What did I learn during my undergrad?! If only there was a pause button to life, maybe then I would have enough time to really prepare myself for the “real world."

Looking Forward

Unfortunately we can’t stay young forever.  Life is hard and we have to step outside our comfort zone in order to make it worth living. I know there’s an ounce of excitement in me that graduation is coming up, I’m just waiting for the day until it hits me. It might be when I’m standing in Doak Campbell stadium taking pictures with my cap or the day of graduation. But for now, I have the next couple of days to soak up the remainder of my undergraduate life, make lasting memories with friends and find the right pair of shoes for graduation. Hopefully ones that will get me across the stage without falling.

Topics: Personal Stories