Written By Davis Nguyen Last week, life after college officially began for me and frankly, I am scared.
Even with a degree from one of the world's best universities, I am scared of what awaits me outside the walls of the classrooms I've so grown so accustomed to seeing every day for the last 17 years.
When fall returns there will be no syllabus telling me what I am suppose to do for the next 10 months, there will be no more "dean's excuses" available when I am too sick to give a presentation, and there will be no more set dates on my calendar when I know my work ends and I can binge watch episodes of BBC's Sherlock.
There are many things to be scared of in life after college...
1. Being uprooted from the support network I've had the last four years.
In the fall, my friends from college will be all over the world. Gone will be the evenings that with just a text I could meet my friends in the dining hall for dinner. Gone will be the nights I can walk down the hall to their rooms with a bottle of wine and we would spend the night debating if that dress was really blue and black or white and gold. Not being able to see my friends when I want or when I need them scares me.
But here's what excites me: I am excited for all the people I will meet when I move to San Francisco. I know it will take time for me to have the same close group I built in college, but as it did in college, I will find these friends.
2. Being the small fish again.
I will be the freshman again in the fall. I won't be the senior walking around town who knows where he is going or what he is doing. Instead I will again be the one asking questions, the one scared to say the wrong thing to the wrong person, the one who people quietly whisper to themselves, "I remember when I used to make that mistake."
But here's what excites me: Being the small fish again gives me the opportunity to learn. And soon, I won't be so small. I'll be the one people ask for advice, the one who isn't scared of saying the wrong thing, and the one who tell others to avoid the mistake they're about to make.
3. Facing the consequences of the real world.
In a few months, waking up past my morning alarm on a Monday will have consequences far worse than just a deduction on my attendance grade. Second chances will be harder to get, and there isn't a syllabus for life with a list of objectives I have to complete in order to pass.
But here's what excites me: The quality of my work will no longer be judged by just a grade or a paper only one person ever reads. My work will be judged by the impact I have on the lives of others. Life will take on even greater meaning.
I don't know what awaits me in life after college, and it's natural to be scared. But with fear comes excitement!
We'd love to hear from you in the comments:
What scares/scared you most about life after college?
Davis (@IamDavisNguyen) graduated from Yale University in 2015. He currently lives in San Francisco and works at Bain & Company. When he’s not helping CEOs transform their companies, he is helping recent graduates figure out the type of life they want for themselves and helping them get there.