FORT WORTH, TX - There’s a subtle shift in tension somewhere between sophomore year and junior year of college. Maybe it’s replacing core classes with classes pertaining to our majors. Maybe it’s the decision to stay in one night to ensure that we attend class the next day. Maybe it’s the looming prospect of resumes, internships, and job interviews.

I’d like to think it’s the impending danger of adulthood. Yes, a good majority of us college students take personal offense at the notion that we are not, in fact, independent, mature adults. But the scary truth of those falling within the 20-22 age range is that we are dependent – whether it be to our parents, close friends, or the sheltered illusion of our campus umbrella.

However, that is not a bad thing. There’s a reason why we are sometimes treated like ignorant adolescents by the “all-knowing” Generation X. The fact is that we are young, and we have the wonderful privilege of endless opportunities ahead of us that older generations crave. Yet, going into my senior year of college, that realm of endless opportunity somehow shrunk – between my freshman year and now – into a single road of worry and stress, with the final destination being “FIND A JOB.”

There is this notion that if you don’t secure a job pertaining to your degree, you’re automatically deemed a failure. That in itself opens up a pit of uncertainty with the punch line being, “What if?” We are told that it’s all going to be okay, and everything eventually works out. Yet, that somehow seems a little less likely when graduation is just around the corner. What if I chose the wrong major? What if I can’t find a job? What if I have to end up moving back with my parents because I can’t pay rent? What if college was the peak of my life and it’s all downhill from here? These are just a few of the thoughts that plague the graduating class of 2018.

I received an email from one of my professors a few months ago that ended with the line: “Take a deep breath. You have more people in your corner than you realize.” During a time of stress over fall classes, applying for internships, and the general paralyzing thought of embarking on my final year of college, I was surprised to hear those words rebounding in my head. Maybe graduating is not the end of the world. Yes, I may feel like I have no earthly idea what I’m doing, but I have a few hundred kids in my graduating class that feel the exact same way. Some are just better at hiding it.

So cheers to our final year of college folks. We are young, we are so very young, and we have more people in our corner than we realize.

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