(image credit: SNHU)

Students who are getting ready to graduate are likely find¬ing themselves in a very retrospective frame of mind. It’s hard not to be when all of the signs are pointing towards the end of the road. Between the weather teasing later months like April or May, and the final Spring Break being on the horizon, it seems as though the clock is ticking even faster.

A lot of panic is setting in, but why is this? While it’s true that plenty of people are falling victim to the fears of employment and routine budgeting, it’s more about the shift in status and the loss of security that causes us to experience such fear.

It’s the idea that everything we’ve ever needed has been at our fingertips while we were here. If we needed friends, we could step outside our door. If we needed food, a short walk and a card swipe (at least for resident students) was all it took. Upon graduating, we’re going to lose that ease of access to the that sustain us.

The social dynamic of college makes it easier to branch out, think about the way others feel, give honest and introspective looks at ourselves and our feelings, and much more.
It’s simply not a matter of moving on to bigger and better things. It’s not about the job prospects, the resume, or even the degree. In the end, what was truly important about this experience, was the ability to become yourself.

We learned to give an hon¬est look at our values and adapt them over time to become better and stronger people.

We took our personalities and turned them into skillsets. We can go from being nice people to effective communicators, or from articulate speakers to strong-minded leaders. The fear is unnecessary because college was never about the paper.

No matter what, everything we’ve taken the initiative to learn here has become a piece of the life we’re going to live post-graduation.

The next time you think about goodbyes, replace them with ideas of how you’re going to maintain those relationships. The next time thoughts of fiscal difficulties arise, think about a strong network and support unit developed over years of relation¬ship building. When you begin to think about the end of the road, remember that every trail has been marked on the map, and the trials and tribulations on those paths don’t disappear; they become part of the grand adventure that is life.

Take the rest of these days, and make sure they’re worth marking on the map.

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