OPINION: Post-graduation without a paddle

Photo credit: Kent Willmeth

We are all in the same boat. And you know, I thought I was talking about a figurative boat until last night when I saw some guy literally kayaking down Anderson. Oh yes, it is time to graduate and venture into the real world, desperately looking for checks, while only finding reality ones.

You may now be regretting all those group projects you let me juggle single-handedly or all the jobs you passed up because “you focused on your grades,” where no one was sure if your moving target was your schooling or a pint of beer. We are going to walk across the stage soon with one too many mimosas and no job in sight. While it may seem like the appropriate time for a quarter-life crisis, I’m not keen to the idea of sharing tissues with my parents going through their mid-life ones.

Transitioning from the classroom to the boardroom, break room or whatever room we land careers in, may seem like an impossible feat, but I’m here to tell you to hold the tears in and fear not. The next step you take, whether it be moving back home with your parents (can’t wait, Patty) or starting a beeline to Aggieville after commencement, won’t determine the path you were meant to pave for the rest of your life.

It’s never too late. There’s a long list of things many of us are wishing we had done now that we are graduating. I wish I would have went to fewer clubs and joined more instead. I wish I would have been more involved. But wishing for things we’ve passed up will only remind us of the failure to do something we are obsessing about in the first place. Instead of wishing your life away post-graduation, find a way to channel these “should have been” into the motivation for real, tangible things that you won’t let yourself be able to regret not doing later.

As graduates, we can’t ever be too picky. Failing to join a specific club while at K-State doesn’t mean you can’t find a similar organization like it as a graduate. Relocating doesn’t mean you lost your chance at something, it only means you have been given the opportunity to explore wherever it is you wind up at after graduation until you find someplace to utilize what you missed out on in the past, or find an ever greater passion.

I regret to inform you, as I have regretted having to tell my professors, I have taken very ill. It seems that senioritis is slowly engulfing my entirety this last week of school, so I apologize for my usually lengthy advice being cut short; I know how you crave my wisdom. While I may not be the best senior to receive advice from, as I too am one of those lucky few without a job lined up post-graduation, I can tell you this: I have never been more excited to leave Manhattan.

You have been good to me, but graduating makes me realize the world is literally and figuratively vast interconnected oceans of opportunity and chance, and I encourage every one of us, while we find ourself in this creaky boat, to explore it the absolute best we can.