Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Beginning.


special places necklace from Sydney Buchanan

I graduated from Georgetown exactly one year ago. On one hand, it feels like just yesterday that I was walking around the Hilltop, eating at Booey's, staking out places to study in the library, and feeling the warmth of the community that comes with undergraduate life. And on the other hand, it feels like years have passed since group project woes, cramming for finals, and struggling through "required" classes that you have absolutely no interest in.

In short, I would say that I miss college, but I don't miss college. It's a strange thing. While you're in the middle of college, it seems that all you can think about is the stress (and, yes, the weekend fun). This final is due in a week. I haven't started writing that ten page paper due in three days. Why isn't anyone in my group project pulling their weight? My professor gave us the hardest exam ever. We've walked past the front gates of campus so many times that we simply don't notice the wrought iron anymore. The fight for forks in the dining hall is such a distraction that we forget to recognize how wonderful these giant family meals are every single day. The pressure for that perfect grade casts a shadow on the beauty of learning and knowledge.

 Admittedly, I wasn't the girl at graduation in tears having to leave my friends. I was excited. I was ready to leave. After putting an end to my coxing career, my senior year was kind of the best year ever at school. For once, I had time to devote to my classes (and even TA for one!) and I had time to travel every weekend. I felt like I was straddling the lines of collegiate life with real life. Every weekend I was in NYC meeting with companies and people and just doing awesome things... and then I'd have to get back on the train (or bus) and go back to finals, papers, and group projects. By the time May rolled around, I couldn't wait to check college off my list officially and jump (head first) into the Real World.

I graduated without a job, having turned down nine offers. It was the first time in my entire life where I didn't have my next step planned. I felt like I was free-falling. It was scary and exhilarating. That roller-coaster feeling in my stomach both worried me and gave me a new sense of life and purpose. The idea that I could literally pick any place in the world to live was eye-opening. The world was completely mine. Of course, I settled on New York City as my future home and then hit the ground running securing a job.

I didn't look back.


Now, being a year out, I can look back fondly on my years at Georgetown. The jagged edges of my memories of stress, anxiety, and breakdowns have smoothed over time. The visions of the campus (the front gates, the chapel, the river) have heightened. George Bernard Shaw once said, "Youth is wasted on the young." I feel like this kind of applies to college... College might be wasted on the collegiate.

Graduating from college seems like the very end of everything. It does, in a sense, signal the end of a few things. The safety and security of a set track is gone. (But the whole world now opens up to you!) The house parties and socials are over. (But "grabbing drinks" after work is just as grown up and awesome as it sounds.) Scheduling your classes as late into the afternoon as possible is no longer an option. (But... well, sorry, can't help you there. Early mornings are your new future!)

Graduating is not a door closing, but the turning of a page.

Your life is yours to make now.

xoxo
PS Georgetown Forever... College Prepster Forever.
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7 comments :

  1. Your posts are always so inspiring!! I still have three more years of college before jumping into a "real world job." My boyfriend graduated today, and I'm so excited for him. You perfectly described how college students feel. Even though I'm on summer break, all I can think about is the stressful tests and assignments the fall will bring. Just taking it one step at a time is the best advice for this phase of life :)

    -Rachel
    www.apreppystateofmind.blogspot.com

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  2. I just graduated the second time around with my masters - I was just meditating on the differences between graduating while firmly entrenched in the real world and graduating as a wide eyed 22 year old with no idea what I actually wanted to do in life (I didn't go straight through, I was out for several years before heading back to school, which was something that aligned with and supported my current career) and a much more seasoned 28 year old. School is stressful no matter what you do or how you do it, but it's also a great refining experience and helps you figure out who you actually are. I learned as much, if not more, about myself while in grad school than in undergrad - I think I learned a lot more about the world there, though.

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  3. I just discovered your blog and can't describe my excitement upon discovering that you're not only a fellow Hoya, but that your current post is an amazing one about Georgetown! Your sentiments about graduating from the Hilltop (I graduated in 2010) really hit home for me and were so much fun to read. Can't wait to see what you post next!

    Hoya Saxa,
    Mary
    The Classy Cubicle

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  4. So true! I love Berkeley to no end, but I can't wait to graduate. I always have to slow myself down because I know that these are the best days of my life. Also, I studied "abroad" at Georgetown last summer and it was AMAZING.

    --Marissa
    www.thedogooddiaries.com

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  5. So true when you said you MISS college, but don't miss COLLEGE. What I like about the real world is that you can come home from work and not have studying or extra homework to do!

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  6. I had my last day of high school on Friday and I felt so bad to be the only one who wasn't sobbing uncontrollably - thank you for making me feel like it's okay for me to be more excited for the next step than sad about what I'm leaving behind!
    xo Amy | British Prep

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  7. I think it was the same thing with high school too. You're sad, excited, and scared at the same time. Then you realize that each phase of life has awesome things to offer and it is all about the choices you make. It makes sense to be nostalgic because for all the good that awaits in each lifestyle change there are things we love that need to be left behind to make room, but the lessons we carry with us from those times make everything worth it in my opinion.

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