How to Survive Graduation: The Mental Bit

Now, let’s be clear – graduation is absolutely mental. That’s not what I’m going to be talking about here, though. You see: for the longest time, being a student defined who I was. For a large majority, at least. And then, suddenly, I was graduating. And that mental framework, of who I was? Disappeared with it. Really, how are you supposed to handle that mental bit?

The Before

Before graduation, life was fairly simple – some might even say easy.

Sure, I have a very real tendency to completely cover myself in work. And from time to time, I felt like my studies were Rose and I was Jack in that one scene with the door from Titanic. Basically: I was sinking, but at least my studies were still alive. ish. Yay!

But again, there was some comfort in that. Every day, I new exactly what was expected from me. Get up, eat something, go to class or study. Rince and repeat until go to bed came up. There were other things, sure. But again: they were all framed by “me being a student”.

Plus: I’ve been in school non-stop since I was 2,5 years old. (the normal age for kids to start kindergarden in Belgium). I’m 24 now, so that’s about 90% of my life spend in school, or waiting for school to start again.

know school, I’m good at being a student. It’s all familiar territory.

The After

The after, so far has been a mixture of many things. It’s been not knowing exactly what to do and when to do it. It’s been not knowing where to go with my life, not knowing what decisions to make. Not knowing how I was going to actually get a job, not knowing if i would ever be suitable for a job. And, maybe the hardest thinhg, not knowing what i was going to do with my life.

I’m someone who likes structure. Someone who likes to know what my day will look like, even if just vaguely. The after, so far? It’s been nothing like that.

The Mental Bit

I’ve tried to cling on to what little pieces of normality I still had left – be it this blog, my friends… But part of why I liked those is because they allowed me a break.

My first conclusion: I am not good at only breaks.

I tried to go the other way: go with the flow just ride the roller coaster and live it.

My second conclusion: going with the flow, if that flow is doing nothing? Drives me bananas.

And even now that I actually have a job, the beginning stages were messy. There were schedules that didn’t coincude, students who didn’t know I existed even as I was supposed to be teaching them. There were classes where I was supposed to start teaching some chapters in, and others where it turned out the students hadn’t actually had a single class yet.

It’s been a blast, y’all.

And it’s been driving me mental.

So for now? I’ve just been waiting it out. Telling myself that this too shall pass.

But, well, if I could have a say in the matter? This mental bit can pass rather quickly, thankyouverymuch.

-Saar