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Overhead shot of new graduates

As the air becomes more humid and the days longer, a transition from spring to summer brings an awareness of the seasonal shift. And, as with any season, there comes a looking back at what was and a looking forward to what is.

Sometimes there is gratitude that the season is over, sometimes there is sadness that it has come to an end, and sometimes there is fear for what is to come. With the end of the school year, a new beginning is put on pause as the summer brings a change in energy. Whether it is a child graduating from middle school to high school, a high schooler to college, or a college student into the next phase of life, the unknown is paramount, and with it, often some anxiety.

One of the hardest jumps in the school-age transition is college to post-college, where often, it feels as though everyone is ahead of you.

An awareness of what you don’t know may feel heavy. Possibly, there is the realization that what you studied in college doesn’t necessarily translate to your first job. Or, maybe, you don’t even know where to start looking for a job.

It may feel as though others have it together and you are alone on an island of confusion about what this “real world” is all about.

Or, perhaps, you realize that you have to relearn what you thought you knew about yourself now that you are out of a context that defined you.

OR, maybe, you are confident in your choices in college leading to secure entry into the next phase of life.

Wherever you are, whether it is full of fear, gladness, excitement, loneliness, sadness, or confidence, you are exactly where you should be.

You are going to learn more than you ever thought you would outside of the classroom. Maybe that is learning how to cook for yourself, maybe that is learning how to choose friends, perhaps that is learning how to have an adult relationship with your parents.

Whatever it is, you are learning, growing, and challenged in ways you could never have imagined. And while this can be scary, it is worth paying attention to how much you are absorbing on a daily basis.

If you are scared of not knowing what you are doing, share that with someone safe. If you are lonely, reach out to a friend who knows you. If you are joyful, lend that joy to someone who may be needing it.

You are graduating into a phase of life that will help shape you for the rest of your life. Pay attention, be courageous, and grow in the small moments.