Today: Jul 17, 2024

Fears of a graduating senior

John Burton, Business Manager:
As I sit at this wood grain table, my eyes are focused on the beautiful North Carolina sun beaming through the French style blinds, but my mind is elsewhere. I’m in one of the most relaxing states in America and my mind is still attacked with my graduation fears. What am I going to do once my educational judgment day comes? I don’t know, and it’s almost as if I’ve given up.
I remember when I looked into Gloria Gatling’s (my mother) brown eyes and told her, “I’m going to be a reporter.” I was just 12, and so sure that I wanted to be a journalist. Sometimes I still am, but there are times when fear interrupts and forces me to question myself. Can I do this? Are there any jobs out there for me? What makes me a good candidate for a job? Why do I have to have a plan? I’m afraid- my fear and insecurities have turned me into a regular college graduate.
As a freshmen entering into these walls of higher academia I just knew I would never be one of those seniors- afraid to graduate and move into the real world. After all, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t until the second semester of my senior year when these questions and fear surfaced.
My mind has come to a complete halt while the world continues to speed past me. People tell me that I better get on board and start moving with the wave because May 27 is quickly approaching.
My mother called me two weeks ago. I could hear the excitement of my accomplishments in her voice. She wanted to make graduation plans. You know how parents get around this time. She told the whole family about her “Burt,” and how I’m going to graduate school and I’m going to be a reporter.  She’s proud of me. I don’t have it in me to tell her that I only applied to two schools, and when one of them called me back for an interview I turned them down.  It would break her heart.
I am so far from the person I used to be. Why is that? Well, I have a theory. I think I’m tired of learning and working hard, and our “prospering” economy isn’t making me feel any better.
Before I was born my mother and father were teaching me how to read and count. I know this because I hear the stories all the time. My parents, I love them, but they drove me so hard. I was put on the path to higher education when I was just a fetus. It worked because I’ve reached the finish line, but I’m drained.
I’m sure some of you are saying to yourself, “stop whining.” I say it all the time because I feel like I’m complaining for no reason, but I don’t think I’m alone.
Over the years I’ve noticed other college graduates express these same thoughts and fears. Graduating college is supposed to be a great feelings, but it isn’t, especially now.
Things certainly have changed since our parents’ age- when a college degree meant a job and money. The current state of our economy and the decreasing value of a bachelor’s degree have a lot of seniors (not all), like myself, running away from that dreadful graduation day into another undergraduate level class.

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