It always feels as if time slows down during the last month of school. When you realize that it’s April and you only have a few more weeks left you wonder where all the time went, but as you are beginning to complete papers, present projects and study for exams time seems to move oddly slower than it did before.
I am so elated to be finished with this school year-my junior year in college. However, I can’t help but feel as if this year was supposed to be MY year. I graduated from high school in 2008 which by conventional standards would mean that I should be a graduating senior right now. Well, I chalk my remaining year to two things- (1) I enrolled into Northeastern University’s 5-year college program right after high school, (2) I transferred colleges during the second semester of my sophomore year and took a semester off. So, when you really think about it this year was not meant to be my year after all. However, when I see my high school friends preparing for their next step I can’t help but want to take that next step right along with them. Even though we all started on the same foot we are not completing the same race.
I think that this extra year was neccessary. My goals have changed so drastically over this last year as signs that I have ignored made themselves more obvious to me and opportunities for growth have opened up for me. Now, if I were to go back in time would I do it all again? Would I have enrolled into Northeastern? Took a semester off from college? Applied to Howard University? I can’t say because who I am now is different than who I was then.
Right now, I get to observe my peers as they enter the “real world.” Scratching and clawing their way into the job market and figuring out what to do next. I’ve heard a fair share of cautionary tales of life in the “real world.” I’ve heard some tales so frightening that they have made me question myself and my goals. However, I remind myself that even though we all started on the same foot we are not completing the same race. I cannot live in fear of what could happen based on the experieces of others. It is up to me to create my own experiences to go by.
Truth be told, I never liked when people told me about the “real world.” That whole phrase is laughable. Am I not living in the “real world” now? Are the people I interact with and places I go figments of my imagination? No, they are not. Whether you are in college or not we are all living in the “real world.” The way I see it college and work are not that different. College students and young professionals are always trying to figure out how to make it by financially. We all have jobs to go to everyday except in college our job comes with super overtime in the form of homework, studying, etc. We are all evaluated and judged by our superiors and peers. We all worry about the future and what will come next. No one wants to be in school forever or work the same job forever, but there isn’t a point in our lives when we are not living in the “real world.”
Congrats to everyone who graduates this year-look for me in my cap and gown next year. While in my opinion you have already lived in the real world I do congratulate you as you enter a “Different World than where you come from.”
(FEATURED IMAGE: Sean MacEntee)