How to Deal With Your Impending Graduation

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If you’re reaching the pointy end of your last semester like I am, you’re probably freaking out about your future prospects. You’ll run the gamut of emotions, from overwhelming joy to bottom-of-the-barrel melancholy. To help you deal with your impending graduation, I’ve devised a handy list detailing the phases of your upcoming doom. So for all of us sorry souls who are about to walk the plank, let’s examine the “Kübler-Megs” model.

WORDS Megan Smith

Revelling In Joy

Oh my God, oh my God, you’re finally graduating. It’s time to bid adieu to the comforting bosom of university life, with its oh-so-good $5 schooners of cider, Ranch theme parties and ridiculously overpriced wares at the Mac Shop. The next stop is the real world, with its salaries and 9-5 working days. No more going home after a long day and popping open a textbook, nope, that’s not for you anymore. When you get home after your full-time job, you can just sit around in your undies and watch Parks and Recreation until your eyes bleed, right? True freedom.
But then…

Sudden Dread

Oh my God, oh my God, you’re actually graduating. This reaction is natural, as you’re in the grip of “Macq-holm Syndrome” (I just pulled a muscle in my shoulder from reaching so hard with that one). The feeling of sudden dread is sharp and intermittent, often resurfacing when your relatives ask “So what are you planning on doing after your degree?” with a knowing grimace.

Side effects of the second phase may include seriously considering undertaking a master’s degree and having anxiety attacks in public bathrooms.

Questioning Everything

Did I take advantage of the university’s services and amenities while I still had the chance? Have I made enough friends during my time here? Is this REALLY the “best time of my life”? Will I be sleeping under a newspaper in a year’s time because I chose a degree with low career success rates? Can I REALLY pull off the cap and gown look, or will I look like a frumpy Dementor? Should I have paid more attention to my GPA? Should I have paid less attention to my GPA? Now that I’m graduating, will my hot teacher finally ask me to run away with him/her?

Begrudging Acceptance

Look, you have to leave sometime. You’re not going to become one of those people who’ll never stop hanging around uni, lives at Ubar and hooks up with first years every time O-week comes around. You’ll have to go out and make your mark on the world armed with your degree and blinding optimism. So what if you don’t get any of the grad jobs you apply for? That’s what the dole is for! Tone down the existential crisis because, just like your degree, it’ll be over before you knew it began.