The unsure realities of life after graduation

On the day this column is printed (March 22), there will only be 17 days left until I graduate from BYU-Idaho. I guess you could say it’s the final countdown. (If you didn’t immediately think of the song by Europe, we can’t be friends.)

Not a day goes by without at least one person mentioning how many days are left in the semester, to which I reply, “STOP IT!”

Why do I do this?

Graduating means adulting, and I am definitely not ready.

People always think turning 18 and going to college means you’re an adult.

While that’s true to a point, graduating from college is the true mark of adulthood. (Or maybe marriage is, but I’m not married, so graduating from college will be my mark.)

Graduating college means having to find a real job that hopefully will pay me more than the $8 an hour I made at my various fast food jobs for the last seven years.

Graduating college (and leaving BYU-I specifically) means having to find a real apartment that charges utilities and electricity.

It means having to PAY FOR MY OWN INTERNET. (The horror!) It means buying my own furniture instead of having it provided for me.

You get the point. Graduating is terrifying.

While all of those things are scary, there’s one that’s been more horrifying to me than the rest: finding a job.

People keep asking me if I’ve found a job yet. Nope. I haven’t even started looking.

If those people haven’t specifically asked me if I’ve found a job, they ask what my plans are after I graduate.

Answer: become a bum in my parents’ basement, eat all of their food and try to find a job before they start charging me rent.

Last semester, I told myself I’d start actively looking for jobs in January so I could have something lined up by the time I graduate.

And then this semester happened.

Things in my life that have gotten in the way of finding a job:

— Being the campus editor for Scroll.

— Working 12 hours a week at another job (until most recently).

— Taking two 400-level classes and two literature-based classes in addition to working those two jobs.

— I have ADHD, which makes focusing on anything for longer than an hour (like searching for a job or homework) really difficult.

Don’t get me wrong; most of those things have been beneficial to me this semester, and most of them I can apply to my future career. But they still got in the way of my plan.

So, I’m terrified for April 8 to make its way here.

But besides all of the scary things I listed that come along with graduation, I’m excited. I have been a student here since September 2010. That’s a LONG time.

It’s finally my time to walk across the stage and receive the fancy folder for the fancy piece of cardstock with my name on it I’ll receive a few weeks after graduation.

And while I have nightmares of getting a real job and finding out I don’t know anything about my field, I’m excited to finally put everything I’ve learned over the past five and a half years into practice. (I’m also really excited to not work in fast food anymore.)

So, fare thee well, BYU-I. It’s been a marvelous ride, one that I’ll never forget and one that I’ll forever be thankful for.

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