For the past three and a half years, I have been living pretty much on my own. As a resident student, I spent most of my time in a dorm room away from home and made my own decisions. Classes, work, food, socializing, sleep – these were all things that I had to control for myself that were previously assisted by my family. Now, living in an apartment off campus, I truly feel independent despite the fact that my family pays my rent and car insurance. I cover the rest of my expenses.
This is definitely one of the advantages that resident students have, and probably take for granted. We are able to live away from home and learn to take care of ourselves. Some people never did laundry prior to college, others never cooked, cleaned or shared a room. It is an invaluable experience that I think has benefited me greatly (even though I had done all of the aforementioned tasks before move-in day).
When this article comes out in print, there will be just 102 days until graduation. How did that happen? Where did the time go? Even with all that I gained from school, there are many things for which I am not primed. College is supposed to prepare you for your future, but I must say that nothing I learned in my classes is alleviating this feeling of dread that lies at the pit of my stomach. What am I going to do when I leave QU?
I have chosen not to attend graduate school, so I am nose-to-nose with the real world. It is as though I am standing on a diving board waiting to take the plunge, but am worried that I will not be able to swim. The independence to which I have grown accustomed is dangerously close to extinction. If I cannot find myself a job and a place to live by the time May rolls around, I will have to move back home.
Now, please understand first and foremost that I love my family wholeheartedly. They are incredible people and I thoroughly enjoy the time that I spend with them. That is not my concern. What worries me is that I have the potential to lose the independence, freedom and self-sufficiency I have gained while living in Hamden.
After four years of living on my own with private space (however small it was in the dorms, it was still mine), free reign and relative quiet, how can I go back home?
I plan to spend the next few months in a frantic search for my own path. I will send out resumes, write cover letters and interview for positions that will hopefully live up to the goals I have set for myself. I am fortunate in that I have known I wanted to be journalist since I was about 13, and have been working towards this dream ever since I first saw my name in print. Now all that is left is for me to actually make it happen.
There are so many things that we do before graduation to prepare for our futures – internships, jobs, classes, interviews, networking, etc. But regardless of all our efforts, there is still a very real possibility that we will not have a job when we leave Quinnipiac.
I know that this general situation is not unique to me; there are undoubtedly many more seniors (or even graduate students) who feel this way. If anyone has found a way to stop freaking out, can you please let me know? I’ll be in my room, curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and forth, wide-eyed and waiting for a job offer to pan out.