Chaminade Silversword

The student news site of Chaminade University of Honolulu

Chaminade Silversword

Chaminade Silversword

Opinion: What’s To Come After Graduation? I Wish I Knew.

I am 2 months and 8 days from graduation. I am 2 months and 8 days away from the scariest time of my life.

As time has ticked closer to graduation, reality has really started to kick in. The only question I hear from everyone now is, “What are your plans after graduation?”

As I was writing this column, I gasped. Graduation is looming, and I have no solid plan for what I will do after.

I started to get asked this question in August, at the start of my senior year, but the stress started to hit more once the holidays came. I saw family more often, and the same questions were stuck on replay. “What are you doing after graduation?” “Do you have a job?” “Are you going to move out on your own?” It’s like a rapid-fire assault of anxiety. This is when it started to dawn on me how close graduation was creeping up. I get people asking because they care about me, but it is no help when they ask. I would also like to know what I’m going to do after I graduate. 

After spending the last 18 years of my life in school, I will finally finish and enter the real world. As an adult. With responsibilities. It’s a big milestone for me, but school is all I’ve known. No more classes, no lectures. Just an 8-5 with a boss to answer to.

Even though I am constantly asked about my plans after graduating, some people say, “You’re young; you have a lot of time.” But the reality for my generation is starkly different. Today, everything comes with a hefty price tag. According to Bank of America, 85% of Gen Zers cite one or more barriers to achieving financial success. This pressure to get into a promising job, on top of ensuring it’s enough to keep me from working two jobs, weighs heavily on my mind. The daunting task of planning for a future, knowing the uncertainty of the world’s trajectory, adds an extra layer of anxiety to an already overwhelming situation.

Being a part of this generation, it’s hard to know what our futures hold with new technology, such as artificial intelligence. New technology could be taking over our future, and who knows if humans will even have careers in the fields we want to enter. I would love to work in photography, but I was amazed at this article in The New York Times that shows how accurate AI can be and how difficult it can be to differentiate it from an AI photo to a real photo. According to WorkLife News, 45% of Gen Zs have concerns over AI taking over their parents’ jobs or professions they are interested in.

I may be overthinking this life after graduation, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. And if you know a college senior, give them a break and please refrain from asking these questions. Because most of the time, we are constantly asking ourselves that question.

Instead, encourage them to get through graduating first and congratulate them for getting this far. Although that big question is the elephant in the room when it comes to us, it’s a massive elephant in our heads 24/7. 

It’s scary to think of what will come within these new few months, but at the same time, I’m eager to know what life will be like without school.