1. Their family
It is so hard to organize even the smallest groups of people, so imagine trying to get your entire family to Charlottesville and booked in hotels. Then you only get a certain number of tickets to your graduation ceremony. You either have to scrounge up extra ones from friends or decide which of your family members isn’t worthy enough to see you walk down the Lawn. Honestly, I’m getting overwhelmed just thinking of all these situations, and I’m not even the one graduating.
Job hunts are the worst. Writing resumes is the worst. Scheduling interviews, getting all dressed up and fretting over what kinds of questions you’ll be asked are all equally terrible. But now that you’re a graduate, you have to find a real job. Not just some summer fling at your hometown restaurant but an actual career. Welcome to adulthood!
3. The questions
Graduation season is full of questions. What are you doing next year? Are you going back to school? Do you have a significant other? But in reality, so many people have no idea what they’re even going to do two months from now. I know I don’t.
4. The heat
I can’t imagine anything worse than having someone talk at you about being successful and going out and doing great things while sweating uncontrollably. Maybe I just really hate motivational speakers, but I’m pretty sure everyone hates being sweaty. And black is really good at trapping heat, so every student is basically like a rotisserie chicken in one of those rotating spit-roasting ovens at Costco.
5. Student loans
Owing someone money is literally the worst. At the moment, I owe my parents money because I’m not very good at keeping a budget. Luckily, they were nice enough not to charge me interest. It doesn’t sound like the worst situation in the world, but I really hate having debt hanging over my head. But think about the fact that, in six months, you start to really owe money to an institution that really doesn’t care about whether you have a job or not or what interest rate you can actually afford. While you’re in school, it doesn’t feel like the loans are real, but after graduation, I promise that it is.
6. Moving out
Moving out is stressful to say the least. Did I plunge into a depressive episode in the middle of packing this year? Unfortunately, yes. Will it be okay? Probably. But just thinking of all of the boxes and cars that have to be filled and then the fact that you may never live in Charlottesville ever again … well, it’s enough to drive anyone to drink.
7. The fragility of the environment
Did you know that balloons are really bad for the environment? According to the Environmental Nature Center, millions of balloons are released into the air each year, and they are dangerous for wildlife, especially if they eat them. Sometimes turtles mistake plastic for jellyfish or the strings get wrapped around a bird’s beak or legs. Have you seen that video of the cow choking on the balloon that fell into its field? That’s enough to make me want to cry.
8. Drink specials
There’s nothing that gets me to spend money quite like some sort of sale or special. Buy one get one free? I’m on it. Stamp cards? I have a million. So I can’t really blame graduates for wanting to take advantage of graduation day deals. Just be careful about how much you drink! My first-year roommate knew someone that peed right through their gown in the middle of the ceremony. Please don’t pee through your gown in the middle of the ceremony.
9. Existential crises
College is a great time to question your entire existence. It’s your first time by yourself, and sometimes it can be really difficult to come into your own in such a new place. And now, it’s all going to change! Who am I now that I’m a newbie in my job or field of interest? What will I do without being able to see my best friends every day? How will I know if I’m doing a good job without a grading system? It’s a lot to contemplate.
10. The memories
Moving on is one of the hardest things to do, but if you are anything like my fourth-year friends, then I promise you’ll be just fine. It’s easy to drink because you’re stressed and sad, but you should also pour one out for your accomplishments, friends and years at the greatest school ever. I’m proud of you!