My name is Matt, and in a month, I’ll be graduating. I can honestly say that there are few events in my life that have made me this nervous.
While I’m one of a lucky few that have some semblance of a job prospect lined up, it will be the first time in nearly two decades that I will not be attending some kind of educational institution for most of the year. I don’t plan on going to grad school, so for the rest of my life, it looks to be work.
This terrifies me. Just as I was getting into a rhythm of balancing a job or two, class, an internship and a social life, I will suddenly have a big injection of normalcy into my life. With some luck, I’ll be settling into a nine-to-five job, and I’ll actually be able to be finished work when I go home.
While I will never be sleeping in on a weekday again because I have class in the afternoon, I will be able to plan hobbies and other things with a little bit of reliability. Poor time management aside, it will be weird to just have nothing in the way of essays, projects or exams to worry about.
But I guess that’s part of growing up.
In short, I think a large attraction of alumni groups are so that you can support the kids who’re going through what you went through: the late nights, the grating tests and the challenge of balancing it all with an actual life. Networking opportunities aside, being an alumnus allows you to say “Hey, I survived. Here’s how you can, too.”
And to be honest, I think I can live with that.