Monday, April 23, 2007

Graduation Anxieties

Do you know about Go Ask Alice? It's Columbia University's Health Q&A service. I found out about Senioritis -- an anxiety we tend to contract when we're in senior year. It's something we've all experienced in some form or the other. Things tend to move too fast, you don't want to graduate and you're totally nervous. Well a senior year student who was scared of graduation and here's what Alice had to say...

Dear Scared Senior,

The scared feeling that you are experiencing concerning graduating from college is completely normal. I'd be willing to bet the house that you are not the only college senior

feeling this way. In fact, the reality is that the majority of upperclassmen most likely feel like you do.

Any time someone has to undergo a drastic change in their life, a certain amount of anxiety is present. This is why the old adage “no one ever said that change is easy”

exists. The good news is that you are aware of your fear of leaving college and have formulated a plan for what you want to do when you graduate. With this preliminary

map of your future you are already way ahead of the game, as many of your peers most likely have not put in the same amount of thought about their futures that you have.

The problem may not be the post-graduation plan, but the fear and anxiety itself.

A great resource for you to utilize is the career counseling center at your respective college or university. The staff there is specially trained to help you figure out options

concerning different courses of action after you graduate. Discussions will most likely include the right job or graduate school for you and whether or not it would benefit you

to work for a while first before heading to grad school. These counselors will not tell you what to do, nor should they, but these professionals can be a great help when you

let them in on your desires and fears about life outside of the confines of being an undergraduate. The following books are also great career resources and are probably in
the library of your career counseling center:

What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles

I Could Do Anything if I only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher

Send this Inspiring Graduation eCard !

Just keeping in mind that your fear is not about the act of graduating itself, it is based on your perception about what you are supposed to do after you walk across that stage and receive your diploma. Four months is plenty of time to have some sort of idea about what you want to do after college. Heck, you have the rest of your life to find your career destination. Recent surveys suggest that the average number of job changes in a professional career is now hovering between eight and ten, of which half are made by the age of forty. Thus, there is no “wrong” or “right” plan after you graduate, the key may be to allow yourself to set a goal of gaining general life and work experience. There is nothing wrong with exploring your options during this tumultuous time of transition.

If you don’t find career counseling helpful and that your anxiety and fear are becoming increasingly unbearable, talking to a therapist counselor at your university or in your community may be a beneficial step for you to take. If you are a Columbia student, you can call Counseling and Psychological Services at 4-2878 to make and appointment to speak with a counselor.

Next year, you will hopefully look back and laugh because you will be surprised by how exciting and cool it is to be on your own. But first things first, you only live your final year of college once. Do yourself a favor, go out and enjoy yourself. Have a last hurrah with your friends, undergrad style!


Send this Encouraging Graduation eCard !

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