The end is near. I can see it now, graduation day, only a month away. But the distance in time between now and then feels like forever.
I often feel an overwhelming feeling of panic and anxiety. The number of papers and assignments to complete before graduation feels unreal and everything is creeping up on me. I just want it all to be over…to be able to feel a sense of relief and excitement to finally graduate and be finished with college.
But there is a part of me that is glad the last part of the semester is dragging on. Despite picking up my cap and gown and buying the perfect dress for graduation, it doesn’t quite yet feel real. That it is not possible that in one month my family will be joining me on the Oval and I will have to say good-bye to my closest friends from the past four years of my life. I am not ready for that moment. Not yet.
While I want to graduate, I don’t want to leave behind these people and these memories. I don’t want to enter the real world. I have a potential job for the summer, but finding a place to live on a tight budget seems impossible and not having food readily available to me at almost any hour of the day seems like so much work. I love to cook, and be creative, and try new dishes. But having to cook for myself, just myself, everyday seems almost like a chore. Oh, chores. I can’t keep my half of the dorm clean, let alone an apartment. How will I ever have time to clean it? Although, with homework out of the picture, maybe it is a feasible option.
I am prepared to be a real person in the real world, without the support of others. But, who wants that? Who wants to be alone in a Staten Island apartment with a low-wage job? Maybe it’ll be worth it. Doing a job that is for the good of others instead of yourself is perhaps self-fulfilling, but it can also lead to bigger and better jobs. The sad reality is that I am afraid to leave this city and return home, in fear that I will never come back to New York City, a city that I love deep down, despite the craziness and overpriced coffee and overcrowded restaurants. I am afraid to leave my boyfriend. I am afraid to leave my friends. But I am also afraid of not having enough time to visit my family and friends back home, and that I will be too sucked up into the New York City life (aka the working life) that I will be leaving them behind.
I am ready for what the world decides to throw at me, but I am not ready to make decisions. I am ready for an independent life, but I am not ready to be completely on my own in this crazy world. I am excited and frightened at the same time about what is to come. And for all you other seniors out there, you are not alone. The chaos will never end but may we find peace and sanity in the chaos of life.