I was supposed to graduate this spring. I was supposed to be walking the stage with my classmates in platform peep toes and a fabulous, full-skirted sundress underneath my blue robe, Ray Bans glued on, recouping from a night of celebratory debauchery with my classmates. That’s not happening until December. And honestly, I’m not even tripping.
I’m not avoiding graduation for bland reasons like good parties and my group of friends, although I’ve met some amazing people and had some legendary nights thus far. I’m just not ready to walk the post-grad plank right now.
I’m very comfortable with the major that I chose and I’m certain of the career path that I want to follow. And even though the economy is crappy, I think that I have a decent shot at landing a job somewhere whenever I do graduate because of my past experience. They say that attachment stems from fear. And I am fearful – fearful of bucking up to responsibility and being a “real” adult.
Once I walk across the commencement stage, I have a hefty student loan to pay off on the other side. Yeah, I did what you’re not supposed to do and took out a loan to afford my school’s ever-rising tuition. While the experience and connections that I made have been worth it, they all came with a looming price tag that I can’t avoid forever.
I am afraid of unemployment. I keep myself really busy with activities to keep my résumé in tiptop shape. I’m an editor for my school’s newspaper, I freelance for a few publications and, whenever I’m not in class, I’m interning somewhere. My older friends and classmates were the same way…yet they’re unemployed. They have experience at some of the best magazines, newspapers, law firms and multi-billion companies in the entire world and skill sets that rival any other candidate. But as we speak, they’re at home with mom and dad, tweeting about the good ole days of undergrad. I don’t want to be that person. I can’t be.
Whenever I’m out, I always run into these glossy, pulled together, J. Crew blazer-wearing young professionals that seem to have it all together. They have their degrees along with all these long-term goals and ever-buzzing iPhones along with a sense of stability. I know that it doesn’t happen overnight…that they probably once had the same fears as me. That it took time for them to find their footing in the “real” world once they graduated. And maybe one day I’ll be one of them. But I just need more time! I still want to travel while I have a free summer. I still have places that I want to intern so I can have a better shot at working at them. I want to save the little money that I am making so I can be comfortable if I do end up unemployed for a little while. I want to make my mistakes now so that I won’t stumble later on. I want to make sure that I’m the best me I can be before I leave college. So no, I don’t want to graduate…right now. But when I do, I think that I’ll be ready for whatever being a “grown up” entails. At least I hope so.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.
[Lead image via Andresr/Shutterstock]