Hey, it's Maddy, Maddy Hill.
And guess what?
I'm not sure who's giving me a license to graduate, but I don't seem to be failing out and needing more credits anytime soon. The regalia has been ordered. The festivities have been planned. I have pestered my advisor about my degree audit for the last time and I'm still in shock that I'm finishing a major, minor and certificate program in four years. Today I turned in my last ever journalism project and celebrated senior day for my sorority when I walked out the doors of the communications school for the second to last time.
My graduation pictures have been taken and I look like I know what I'm doing, so why do I feel this unprepared to walk across the stage?
When I envisioned the end of college, it was along these lines:
I saw rainbows and butterflies soaring over a river of alcohol with the UT Tower lit in the background as me and my friends exchanged slow motion hugs and laughter. End of senior year? No worries! No work! Nowhere to be! I was wrong. There are far fewer rainbows and butterflies than expected and many more obstacles than I thought I'd have to be dealing with this close to graduation. I can relate to Kristen Wiig's character in "Bridesmaids" on a very spiritual level right now. Hot mess express.
I thought the majority of my my money at this exact point would be stimulating the economy at bars. Instead, I'm frantically saving most of my earnings in case my job prospects fall through and I have to resort to living a nomadic life in which I evade paying rent by continuously couch surfing across the globe.
Globetrotting doesn't sound like the worst alternative to adulting should I make it to commencement without a job, but I definitely wish someone would have encouraged me to lower my expectations about the real world.
Graduating means trying to start a career and accepting the fact that you will probably have to settle for a low paying entry level desk job, realizing you're too poor to afford rent at a nice downtown apartment and trying to convince your parents that you have everything under control so they will stop interrogating you about your life plan for five seconds. It also means getting ready to say goodbye to some of the closest friends you'll ever have as your paths diverge into uncharted territory.
This fact didn't hit me until two days after my birthday. My very dearest friend had dropped off a belated birthday gift and I decided to read the card as I went to the bathroom (I'm all about multitasking, what can I say?) It was cute and funny and reminded me of why I love her. But then, without warning, she used the phrase "I know we will be going our separate ways soon..."
Wait WHAT? Now I was peeing and crying and realizing very quickly how close I am to the end of life as I've known it for the past four years. My control freak side really comes out when change is around the corner and all of the unknowns are currently making it impossible for me to focus on anything else.
Will I become a freelance writer? A successful magazine editor? Or completely waste my degree and pursue photography instead? Sell everything I own and travel until my funds run out and I'm forced to take up a 9-5 job or move back home with my parents? Will walking across that stage on graduation day make all of the metaphorical blood, sweat and (okay, fine... literal) tears from this last semester feel worth it?
Only time will tell.
For now I guess I'll just put on my big girl panties, bump some ganagsta rap and deal with it like the true superstar that I am.
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