Is the Tassel Really Worth the Hassle?

My Experience Facing My Last Semester


Bridgewater College

Bridgewater students at graduation in 2019. The class of 2023’s graduation is one month away, and is set for April 29.

Nina Andrews, Social Media Manager

Bridgewater, Va.- With another college semester quickly approaching its end, it is time to acknowledge the emotions, stress and pressure that comes along with shaking a hand and accepting your diploma.

College is all about staying focused on the future: what job you are going to have after you graduate and what your life is going to look like. However, it is easy to lose focus on what you are doing in college to achieve success later in life until it is staring you right in the face. 

For some seniors, including me, we have reached the moment of finally having our cap and gown in our hands, and immediately have an “oh crap” moment. 

It is only right that I walk you through my “oh crap” moment. 

The Realization

For me, there were two points of realization when I started noticing that I did not have as much time as I thought I did. This was also when emotions started to come into play, as I realized there was not going to be another semester after this one. 

This is truly the last semester. 

Sure, for students continuing their education in a graduate program, there are technically more semesters, but not the same as during undergrad. Not where all your friends are together as one, and not where you can miss that one assignment and still be okay.

The second point of realization I had was hearing other classmates talk about upcoming job interviews or where they could possibly be moving and traveling to after graduation. 

This was a terrifying reality for me. 

I started to doubt myself, asking questions like “what are you going to do after graduation?,” “where are you traveling?” and “what job interviews do you have lined up?” This got to the point where I felt sick to my stomach, wondering if I could possibly be a failure after this. 

I was living every day of college in survival mode and continued pushing things off until “tomorrow.” However, once tomorrow was here, I was faced with the truth, and just like Lizzo says, the “Truth Hurts.”

The Rush

Once this truth set in for me, I started making up for all the lost time. This was when the stress and pressure came into play. 

All of a sudden, I was out every weekend trying my best to create these “last minute memories” with friends. I wanted to participate in every possible event happening on campus. 

I started looking for jobs, trying to figure out what I was doing and what I went to college for. I started trying to live in the moment, but when you live in the moment so intentionally, you crash.

Crashing is the worst part of all, because you are hit with the reality that you are out of time. You realize that you are grown up, and life after college is truly what faces ahead. 

The Storm Calms

Finally, I was hit with the ‘it is what it is” feeling. I learned not to compare myself to the path of my classmates and understood that it is okay that I am out of time. 

The most comforting fact of all is that I made the most out of this peculiar college experience. Regardless, the sad part is that all good things come to an end, and I just did not see it coming until it was standing at the door. 

After three waves of shock, I feel content. I feel happy that I was even given this opportunity. 

Yes, college is hard, but it made me who I am today, and without it, I would be nothing. 

The truth is, it is okay to feel those emotions. However, in the end, you have to have faith in what you did and recognize that you did it to the best of your ability.