College Graduation: Navigating the Goodbyes and Beginning Again

Beyond final projects and endless exams, it’s hard to imagine anything else that can be more stressful about college graduation. While this is very much a time for celebration and excitement, it is also wrought with challenging final academic obligations, worried anticipation about “the real world”, and the impending goodbyes to take place.

Graduation is a funny time. Though we’re certainly ready for classes and exams to be over by this time and we’re excited about new beginnings, saying goodbye to the school we thought we hated, dorm rooms we never thought we’d miss, and friends we’d never considered being without can be really hard.

In your final few weeks before really moving on from your collegiate years, it’s important that you say the tough goodbyes and prepare yourself appropriately for the future. Consider these strategies for saying goodbye and embarking on the exciting new adventure of post-college life.

Commit to Staying in Touch

It is in our college years that we truly build some of the friendships that will last our entire lives. That being said, these relationships are the ones that truly take effort to maintain.

One of the very best aspects of college is that it brings together unlikely relationships between people that were at first spread across the country. So, while these bonds are certainly strong, it’s more than likely that come graduation they may spread across the country or globe once again.

Make a commitment to stay connected in one way or another with the friends you’ve made. Email, text messaging, social networks, phone calls—you have an endless number of options to help you keep in touch.

It’s important to realize that graduation brings with it a lot of change. You’re going to meet new friends and this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Recognize that those strong bonds you made in college will last even without sharing a dorm room or seeing each other in class.

Goodbyes Allow Reflection

Graduation brings about more than just goodbyes to friends and classmates. You are also saying goodbye to your classes, professors, campus, and college self. Sometimes it is these goodbyes that are the most difficult to cope with.

Friendships you can maintain beyond your college years, but your college self only exists in those years that have now passed. This can be challenging. Though you were ready to hang up your books and backpack at finals time, come graduation you’ll miss the studying, the late night library, the dining halls, and all other supremely college activities. Take the time to reflect on what you have learned throughout your college experience at this time.

Recognize that these four challenging years have helped build and shape who you are now and who you will be in the “real” adult world. Your college experience inside and outside of the classroom plays an important role in who you are. While it can be difficult to let go and say goodbye, try to realize how much you’ve gained from the experience and carry that with you.

Lenore Holditch is a freelance writer and blogger for Lenore loves writing about education and current academic trends. She uses blogging as a way to educate students and student-hopefuls in the best academic choices for their needs.

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