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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Just Another Small Step

I remember when I was transitioning from middle school to high school; every one of my teachers told me that high school was going to be so much more difficult. That teachers weren't going to hold my hand anymore and that it was all up to me.

I was terrified.

Lo and behold, when I got there I found out that it really wasn't all that bad. That, when all was said and done, it didn't feel like that big of a step. Then, they told me the same thing going into college.

Once again, my panic set in.

Yet again I found out that the change had been overhyped. That, while it was more work, it wasn't as big of a deal as everyone had told me it would be. It never felt like I was overwhelmed to the point that I felt unprepared or hampered. Rather, it felt more like a natural progression than a giant life-changing step.

Now, with my college career swiftly coming to a close, these same claims have begun to resurface. As I take off my student cap and prepare to step into this "real world" that I've been hearing about since I was 5, everyone around me seems to be harping on how drastic of an impact this next step will have.

The rational side of me thinks that it will be like all of the other "next steps" in my life. That it's all hype, with little substance to actually back up the bold claims. After all, college is specifically designed to prepare me for this transition, right?

The other side, however, is currently experiencing a high dose of extra-strength panic. No matter how hard I try, my brain forces me to ask myself questions like "what if I never find a decent job?" or "What if I can't pay off my loans?" or "what if I end up living in my parents' house for the next 10 years?"

Granted, the last question doesn't hold up seeing as how my parents would kick me out long, long before that 10-year mark. Still, it's a rather nerve-racking time in my life and I'm sure, considering that I'm graduating with a class of probably around 4,000 students, that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

So, for all of my fellow graduating seniors, here is my one tidbit of semi-helpful, semi-obvious advice: relax, because despite all of the "steps" you've taken, it was your first that really taught you what you needed to know this whole time. Always try your hardest and you'll succeed.

Now, for those of you reading this who are just starting your college career, you're probably not freaking out yet, but don't let this be just another forgettable read. I promise you that one day, no matter your major or academic standing, you'll still find yourself having one of these mini freak-outs about your future. When that time comes, just tell yourself that if you try your hardest then you've done all you can and panicking isn't going to help.

And if that doesn't help, a nice bottle of scotch will wash away nearly any troubles.




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