As an upcoming senior, I often feel myself getting anxiety about my last year at Ohio University. For most of us, saying goodbye to college and moving on can be a worrisome thought. We have made lifelong friendships and memories, learned valuable skills and made vital network connections that can assist us in life after college.
For many, college feels like a safety net. OU is a second home that offers us transitional assistance into the adult world that is difficult to navigate. Our friends, advisors, professors and peers have all been a great help in our individual growth. Thinking about moving away from this lifestyle can result in inner turmoil.
OU students can rely on school resources like free counseling services, coaching on resumes and interviews and career advisors.
Counseling and psychological services can help students work through their fears and apprehensions about graduating and come up with strategies to mitigate this stressful time. Resume and interview coaching can better prepare students by creating or improving documents and skills that make you look professional and better your chances at finding work.
Career advisors and services, such as Handshake, career fairs and the Bobcat network, help students stay connected, find opportunities and discover specific career interests. These can all assist students prepare for life after college and diminish stressing about the future.
Understand your emotions, but be rational with yourself
Your emotions are valid. It's common to feel nervous about your future. Graduation anxiety can be a normal reaction to uncertainty. Understanding that your emotions are normal and talking through the fears you have can be extremely beneficial.
As an out-of-state student, I feel worried that I'll feel separated from the great connections I made at OU. Understanding and discussing these fears has made me realize that strong connections aren’t impacted by distance.
It is also important to think through your fears and give up the need for control. Realize that the “perfect thing” or “ideal path” doesn’t exist, so stressing about it is unnecessary and overwhelming.
There’s no need to have everything mapped out, but having ideas for post-graduation can be helpful. Going into senior year is an optimal time to begin this challenge. The resources listed above are a great place to start.
Managing finances can be a great way to prepare for life after college. Creating a budget plan and a savings account can be proactive decisions that can be helpful in order to keep ahead of your finances down the road as your schedule becomes busier.
Now is also a great time to look at possible options after finishing an undergraduate college education. Graduate school, internships and volunteer opportunities can all be alternative options to immediately joining the workforce. Having a general plan after graduating can make you feel more at ease.
If you are able to, there is nothing wrong with taking some extra time off to think about what you want to do. A gap year after college can be beneficial to allow students to gain experience and work on applications. It can also be vital to allowing yourself time to relax and explore opportunities the world has to offer.
Know that many other students are having the same fears that you do. You're not alone. Utilizing resources, taking time to work through emotions and planning ahead can all help ease your panic and make the transition a lot easier.
Katie Trott is a senior studying creative writing at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Katie by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.