image courtesy of:

by: Kristen La Marca

Graduation is upon us. The biggest question all of us seniors are asked by family members and friends is, “So what are you going to do after you graduate?” All that question does is scream out “STRESS!”

Graduating high school was a completely different story. You knew where you were going next. Either you were going away to college, staying home and going to community college or simply not continuing an education at all. But, graduating college is a whole new ball game, and if we swing and miss, we may not get to where we want to be.

Rest assured, although the future looks scary, we shouldn’t be stressing as much as we are. We all have had sleepless nights, countless all nighters, long days of work and studying, bad days and good days. All of these aspects of college that we may or may not have struggled to get through have built us up on a strong foundation to graduate and take on the world by storm. We have learned so many valuable lessons from being in college that we can carry with us forever and that will help us make the decisions of what we want in our futures. We have waited for this moment all of our lives and the time is now to show the world what we are made of.

Someone once told me to relax and I immediately bursted out in a rage of stress, excitement and worry because I thought I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life, and the word “graduation” alone frightened me to new levels I never thought possible.

Then I thought to myself…relax. RELAX! Yes, relax. Relax because you will graduate college, you will get the job of your dreams. It may take a few crummy jobs to get through before you get there, but you will. Relax because you will settle down, you will eventually be set for the rest of your life and you will find that balance in your life and become stable from it.

All of this stress and despair about life after graduation should be kicked to dust. We all have made it this far in life and I am pretty positive we can make it through the next 20 years with few anxiety attacks, because we’ve made up enough for all of the meltdowns that college has brought us from time to time. You do not get a college degree and a diploma for nothing. Even though your diploma is nothing but a square piece of paper, it speaks volumes to the world.

Graduating college is such a great achievement, so congratulate yourself. Be proud of yourself. In that moment, when you walk across the stage and receive your diploma, take that all in. Pat yourself on the back, and while you’re at it, brush that stress and worry right off your shoulder. This is your future now, and you are capable of anything.