Graduation anxiety: a problem shared is a problem halved

Three years sounds like a long time. However, when you are a university student, it’s not. 

As I started my third year, I honestly believed I wanted to remain a student forever, and the thought of graduating made me feel sick. As the semesters of third year have flown by, and graduation is only months away, this feeling of dread has actually gotten less and less. That’s not to say I don’t feel scared or anxious about what’s to come next. I do. But it’s going to be a new chapter, and hopefully a really exciting one.

It can be extremely daunting to not know what’s going to happen after finishing university, all my life the next step has just been another form of education, and for the first time I don’t have that safety blanket. There are so many options of what to do next: find a job, go travelling, move home, go to a new city, or stay and do a masters? 

At first, it all just felt like way too much. But regardless of how much I panic about it, it’s going to happen anyway. Embracing it and realising this is actually something to look forward to has helped hugely with a lot of my graduation anxiety. All of my friends feel these nerves too, everyone is apprehensive and everyone is in the same boat. 

There have been so many highs in my three years at university, and there is so much I am going to miss. However, there are a number of things I won’t. There are only so many essays you can write before it becomes boring and repetitive, and it’ll be nice to live in a house where the heating works and the bathroom lock doesn’t break every week. This next stage offers so much opportunity. I think there is so much pressure on us to have our lives planned and mapped out, but this isn’t the case at all. It’s easy to forget how young you are when you see influencers of similar ages with their luxury homes and cars etc. However, your twenties are the ideal time to make mistakes and figure out what you want to do, and that can take years.

If you’re nervous about graduating, that’s completely normal. Those nerves will most likely drive you to the place you’re supposed to be. And if it doesn’t work out? Fine. We’ve got plenty of time to figure it all out. 

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Sophie Colley

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August 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on L.Hargreaves@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.