Graduate afraid of life after college


A hand-drawn depiction of my fear of post-graduation life.

The semester before graduation has become the scariest time in my college career.

For the past three years I only had to focus on my homework and grades. These are important and stressful enough to maintain for me. But then I think about what comes after graduation.

Will I be able to survive life that comes after graduation, find a job, or even a place to live? I don’t know what to do and that has me fearful of failing to have my own life.

After four years of having most of my financial burdens covered by my parents, I fear the day that the responsibility for everything will solely rest on my back.

My parents have been supporting me financially, not just for school but also everyday expenses such as groceries. I had no need for a job because of their help. School takes a lot of time, and my parents wanted me to put my efforts toward finishing school before thinking about work.

I have never worked for a formal employer, making me lacking in experience on applying for jobs. There is a subtle fear that I will be unable to find a job and not able to support myself. The worst thing I would want to do is live with my parents or at my relative’s house for longer than absolutely necessary.

I wholeheartedly believed that college was the time where I would ease into adulthood, lessening my dependence on my parents and relatives. I have learned a few skills during college so far such as budgeting and time-management. Now I notice that my dependance on my relatives is the same as freshman year.

My parents and relatives have supported me greatly during my college career, saying they are proud of me for persevering through the chaos and stress. I’m thankful for their help, but I know that the money could used for other things. My father has been jobless since the family store went out of business, according to the last update from them. I worry about what will happen to them financially and if I might have contributed to the problem.

I remember my father grumbling about going to University of Hawaii instead, motivating me more to graduate on time. My parents’ concern with money, no matter how brief, has me worried and stressed about just surviving on my own after graduation.

There’s another fear that plagues my mind since I was approved to graduate next semester. The degree I’ve earned, the Mass Communications degree I will be handed at the graduation ceremony, will end up being worthless. I have been told by my father that “a degree that isn’t used to help make a career would be a costly waste of time,” and I would have to agree to some extent.

A bachelor’s degree costs: tuition for four years, housing, food, textbooks and supplies, laptops or tablets, and time. It would be soul-crushing if my degree has nothing to do with the career I will pursue in the future, other than pointing out what I don’t want to be nearly $90,000 later.

Will I be able to survive once graduation is official over? I don’t know yet. I don’t know what the future will bring once the graduation celebration is done. It is the fact I don’t know anything that has me afraid of my future life.