Graduation day is often a time for parents to rejoice that their plan of putting their child through school has finally come to fruition. For me, college has always been my plan, and I have thoughtfully envisioned walking across that commencement stage since I was old enough to understand what having a college degree meant. Through these four long and hard years, I have became more certain of my plan, my major in journalism and the career path I will take.
Maybe my story would be more meaningful and interesting if I was the first in my family to graduate from college or the first generation in the U.S., but that is not the case. I am just someone who worked toward achieving something that today seems almost as impossible as finding world peace: graduating college in four years.
In 2013, only 12.7 percent of SF State students graduated in four years and 45.5 percent graduated within six years, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
So why is it that now, as the anticipated day is approaching and all my childhood dreams are coming true, I am scared out of my mind? The second I began to share the exciting news with friends and family that this would be my last semester at SF State, the inevitable questions were asked. What are you going to do with your life? What plans do you have for your future? Where are you going to live?
These are all thoughts and questions that have been looming in my head since way before I went through the treacherous process of turning in the graduation application. Especially since in 2010, only 27 percent of college graduates had a job closely related to their major, according to Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
But why does my looming graduation automatically mean I need to have my entire future and life planned out? I have prepared every moment of my life with the understanding that if I didn’t plan and go for what I want, no one else would. I endeavored through community college and transferred to a university within two years, while my friends sipped on frappuccinos at the mall and entered their third and fourth years at the local junior college.
I plotted my move to what I considered the uncharted city of San Francisco, when everyone told me to just attend the local university. I concentrated on how I could get out of a university before becoming a super senior while everyone around me laughed and told me it wouldn’t happen.
I’m a planner. For the first time in my life I don’t have a set plan, but I know that it will be okay and all of those questions will answer themselves in due time. Graduating from college is an accomplishment on its own regardless of how long it takes. I am lucky enough to be graduating with a degree in a major that I absolutely love, even if my wallet might not be so fortunate.
I think that people, myself included, are always a step ahead. We get into our dream school and we are already planning for graduate school. We get married and we are already planning on when we should have kids. Planning is great, but sometimes it is okay to bask in the plan’s success before we move on to the next one.