Getting closer to the sun

Mason Schweizer, Opinion Editor

Graduation became a real thing before spring break began, when the school held the Grad Finale. Until this made things feel real, the feeling of graduation felt like the sun on a road trip. No matter how far west we drove, that bright orange dot seemed just as far away. And now, all of a sudden, the sun is burning right in our 20-something-year-old faces, so close that it’s burning the tips of our eyebrows.

And for the first time in our lives, graduation means something different. Complete freedom. Upon graduating eighth grade, there was immediately the challenge and fear of what high school held next. Again, after high school, college was prepared to give us the new ride of our lives. Just following the system. Cruising along, inching towards the sun.

And now, there is no mandated next step. Sure, college is a choice, but for a majority of us who attended, we saw it as a necessity. So, where do we go from here, soon-to-be grads? It is an overwhelming feeling to know that the end of this stressful run of education is just the tip of the stress iceberg. The stresses of the real world are sure to cause grief to plenty of upcoming graduates.

But that’s what college (and high school, to a degree) is for. The lessons of time and stress management are worth their weight in gold, especially compared to the three hours a week you spent taking that 100-level gen-ed that couldn’t be more unrelated to your major or career path (many gen-eds are great for making us well-rounded students and people, but others are more pointless than male nipples).

With these valuable nuggets of life lessons and education etched eternally in our minds (well, some of those nuggets, at least), we’re ready to hit the real world. It’s up to each of us to determine our own path. Nobody else is responsible for you anymore.

Do you want to just grab a bartending job and smoke weed all day after you graduate? That may be a waste of thousands of collegiate dollars, but that’s your decision to make. Want to drop everything and move to Africa and dedicate your life to a cause? That’s a noble idea—don’t let anyone stop you. If you want to rent out an old Volkswagen van and follow a band on a tour, hell, yeah, you should do that. And if you want to use your degree efficiently off the bat and get going on your career right away, more power to you.

There is no wrong decision. Just a decision. One that’s up to you, and nobody else, to make.

Mason Schweizer for The Wayne Stater