What I really Learned in College

May 7th, 2018: Today I was particularly feeling stressed, and so I drove myself to a coffee shop (duh). Then to a bookstore to ponder the aisles. It’s what I always do when I need to run through my thoughts and take some time away from life. 

As I strolled through the business section, I reflected on my money habits.

“If I want to retire comfortably…I’ll probably want to get a good corporate job.”

In the love section, I calculated my life timeline. 

“If I want to get married by what society deems an appropriate age, I should really start putting myself out there by 26/27…”

The health section brought to light all of my questionable college dietary habits.

"Crap, my metabolism is going to start slowing down. Should I try Whole 30? Or maybe go Paleo…”

For the last month and a half, I’ve been underlying nervous, afraid, stressed, anxious…. 
It’s taken my some time to label myself with those words, but I am finally accepting it. I am scared to graduate. 

Perhaps it was a book title in the self-help section or an affirmation quote I flipped through in stationary pad on display, but all of a sudden,

my untied and rugged ends, felt like they needed to be tied into a pretty little bow

As a college student, I’m constantly dreaming of my ‘perfect future.’ Gosh, I am so grateful for the freedom student life has given me to dream. I love being around youthful smiles where everyone still feels like they can conquer the world.

And, in all honestly… this is exactly where my fear of graduating is rooted. Truly I am scared that once I graduate, those youthful, light smiles and dream-filled eyes will fall away into a new kind of grind. A corporate grind, as our financial burdens begin to stifle those dreams we once discussed over coffee on our college campus. 

Greater than that, my fear of graduation really is just a fear of myself. I am scared that I will fall into society’s norms. College is a safe protective bubble that has allowed me to explore every dream that I have ever had. And, I don’t want that bubble to burst. I’m scared that that pressure from the unspoken rules will steer me away from my dreams and into this dreary world. Where I don’t belong. 

My dreams seem unconventional. I want to travel South Africa, live in Australia, road trip through New Zealand. I want to start my own business, move back Paris and speak French fluently. I want to bike across a country and buy my own car and road trip America! There are so many things I want to do before “life starts.”

I will never be ready. I just have to pull it together and get on with it. 

Why am I so afraid to graduate?

I should be excited that I am now being given the ultimate freedom to live my life exactly how I see fit. In fact, if there is anything I learned from the college late nights and deadline extensions, it’s that I will never be ready. It’s stupid to feel like I will one day be able to tie my life into a pretty little bow. The only thing I truly can do is to stop feeling like there is a ONE-track lane towards success. As if corporate life is a black hole inevitably sucking me in.

Edwina, you don’t have to be afraid. You should feel excited. Remember your dreams and don’t let them go. You can live your life however you want and that is a privilege which should be celebrated. Continue to chase the adventure and the ultimate happiness. Don’t lose your compassion for others, your curiosity for the world, and your love of self. 

All of that can easily slip away when you live under the rules of someone else’s game. 

My life will always be full of loose, un-laceable ends. I am going to embrace it 100%.