‘Tis the Season of Graduation: A Reflection


Misty Sweet

Photo Courtesy of Misty Sweet

Kayla Sweet, Staff Writer

Across the nation, graduation season is in full swing. Thousands of students will soon be walking across a stage and receiving their diploma. Some will go on to pursue higher education, others will set out for a career, and still others will take an entrepreneurial approach to achieving their goals. At Buena Vista University, only a short time remains until our own graduates walk through the beloved arch to receive their well-deserved diploma. As a senior, I am hesitant to take those final steps as my journey at BV comes to an end.  

Anxiety has always been a burden that I’ve carried. As a young child, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety. Since then, I have adopted coping methods while attempting to contain my struggles and fears. As a freshman, my first night on campus was spent hyperventilating, sobbing uncontrollably, and blacking out from exhaustion. Not many people were on campus that night—including my roommate, who was a stranger at this point. It took me two days to overcome my fears and become truly excited for my future here at BV.  It was an adjustment to a new life, just like graduating will be. 

Since then, I have gradually fallen in love with myself in my journey here. In high school, I wasn’t involved and kept quietly to myself. In college, I have been involved in Art & Design club, BARC, as well as being an academic assistant for professor David Boelter. I have developed a close group of friends who I will miss dearly upon graduation. We have grown together and made so many cherished memories along the way. The reality is that after graduation, we will never again be as close as we are now. Our paths will part as we search for our niche within society. I will miss the late nights studying in Grand lounge, binge watching our favorite tv shows, and eating almost every meal with the same group of amazing people. Our time spent together will be cut drastically, and I am scared to grow apart from my college family.  

Fear inevitably follows change, but I believe there is a lesson hidden in the chaos of it all. As a child, storms were very traumatic for me. For a while, I was scared of every cloud I saw. I kept an emergency kit with me to cope with the stress. Today, I don’t have an emergency kit, and my fear of clouds has been replaced with a fear of reality. Being an adult is full of the unknown, and the only solution is to roll with the punches. I do not have a job lined up or plans of the future. Anxiety tells me I have to have my life plan set in stone, and when I don’t, thoughts come around: “You will never find a stable job, and “Student debt looks good on you.” Although I wish I had a plan to follow, I know I have a support system to fall back on in times of trouble, and I know that good things will come in time.  

To all those who are fearful of the moment we depart from campus, just know that your college family is only a button away. FaceTime is a thing, and if we still want to binge watch our favorite shows together, we can do it from across the world. Graduation is, and should be, a time of celebration. Sadness is expected, but excitement should be a part of the equation too. We have worked many late nights with our good friend Red-Bull for this moment. Fearing the unknown is normal, and it shows that you are concerned, and more importantly, that you care for your future. At the end of the day, that’s why we are all here. We will all go on to do amazing things, myself included. We can overcome the anxiety, and I believe we will all see the sun shine after the storm.