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I Just Graduated & I Am Not Okay


By Rebecca Charlotte

I am not okay.

Even though I graduated in May, I have no sense of closure.  Everyone thinks the girl wearing all the honor cords and graduating summa cum laude has nothing to worry about. But that is not true. I feel as if I have more to worry about now more than ever. More to live up to, more to do, more to reach for. It is as if I set the bar so high for myself that I cannot even see it anymore.

When I got home from commencement, took my lucky dress off and tossed my cap and gown onto my bed the first thing I thought was not, “Oh my gosh I just graduated from college this is amazing!” it was “Oh my gosh I just graduated from college what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?”

Don’t get me wrong, being a newfound graduate is amazing. It is the culmination of lots of hard work, late nights in the library and an abnormally large amount of money spent on Dunkin Donuts strawberry frosted donuts. I worked my butt off to get my bachelor’s degree.

But I don’t know how to get from here to there. Here being just out of college and there being the next step. I know where I want to go: I want to go to Simmons to get my Masters in Library and Information Sciences, move to Boston and get a job working at one of the many libraries there.

But I am not okay.

All of that stuff is freaking expensive, and I am not Bill Gates.

The thought of how I am going to be able to pay for this gives me panic attacks, nightmares and paralyzing anxiety.

It is as if there is a song stuck in my head, but not the happy-go-lucky Gilmore Girls theme song. More like that annoying “Bad Day” song that always comes on the radio at the worst moment.

What are the lyrics to my inner song you ask?

How am I going to pay for graduate school? What if I get in but don’t have enough money to go? What if FAFSA won’t help me? Can I amend FAFSA? What if I don’t get in? What if I have to save grad school for later? If I do that I need to work on a resume, but how do I make the perfect resume?

Just in case you did not know, resumes are ten times worse than MLA format.

But you know what? I am done. Done with letting my brain get sucked into this black hole of fear and worry. The worry might never fully go away, but I have decided to channel it into productivity. Instead of worrying about whether or not I am good enough to receive scholarships/grants/fellowships/assistantships, I am going to go to the library and take out as many books as humanly possible about paying for graduate school. Instead of sitting in my bed paralyzed by fear, agonizing over resumes, CVs, and cover letters, I am going to open Microsoft Word and start writing one.

No one has ever accomplished anything by doing nothing. So it is time to turn off Netflix, sweep away the thoughts cluttering my mind and do something.

Hear that real world? I am coming for you. 

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