Being on Your Own

Transitioning from College to Adulthood


Illustration by Eddie Sampson.

NOTE: This article was published in the March 2020 issue of The Saber and was written prior to the 2020 Spring Break.


College has different meanings for the students at Columbus State University, as well as past alumni. Most students spend between two to eight years of their lives in college, whether they come in that first day already knowing the direction in which they would like to go in life, or start that first day without the faintest clue. A few CSU students spoke about how they are going to venture off on their own, with graduation and a brand new beginning ahead.
One of the most popular changes stated by these students was that they would have to adjust to not having the same normal routine that they have become accustomed to over the years.
“For the past three years, I’ve had a routine of being in school, so going from a strict morning to night routine to nothing, is going to be a little difficult,” said senior psychology major and criminal justice minor Julia Vroman. When asked what she is looking forward to after graduation, she laughed, “No more school, and no more 8a.m. classes.”
Vroman mentioned that above all, she will miss the connections she made with the professors at CSU and the friendships she has created over the course of college. While graduation slightly intimidates her, she has already been living on her own for the past three years; therefore, the fear of leaving college is less threatening to this soon-to-be graduate.
Isaiah Givan, a senior studying English Literature with a creative writing track, is also excited to be graduating this May.
“I feel like I’ve done a lot of good work since I’ve been here and I’m really looking forward to using my skills,” said Givan. He mentioned that over the years, he has made numerous friendships with his classmates, as well as the professors in the English department, and, now, he cannot wait to find a job where he can “express” himself and “make some money.”
Givan wants to focus on the entertainment industry in terms of writing for his future career, and plans on freelancing once he has graduated. With freelancing, he plans on working on screenplays, as well as playwriting to help him form a space for himself within this busy industry. Givan has a connection with the entertainment business because there is freedom to create and freedom to share.
“While we’re in college, that’s the beginning of our own individuality,” he said. Givan stated that while bills and “being broke” are his biggest fears when leaving college, he feels “like that’s standard for when you get out of school.”
Givan also realized that the type of job he will be searching for is going to be harder to find, but he would rather follow his passion than end up with a 9 to 5 job where he could not express who he is. Givan explained that depending on a student’s major, jobs can be easier to acquire, but artists typically have a harder time trying to land a job. While many higher up jobs are going to have openings, “someone is not always going to need a poem,” Givan comically adds.
CSU students seem to be counting down the days until graduation with more excitement than fear. 2017 CSU graduate Alex Travis was asked what she feared most when she graduated several spring semesters ago. “My biggest fear was the unknown – especially the uncertainty of being able to secure a professional job.”
Travis had worked in the food industry during college to be able to support herself. “One year went by frighteningly fast after graduation,” she said. However, Travis applied for a job in higher education, and, immediately, she was no longer in the food industry but was able to use the skills she acquired in college.
“I miss the relationships with my professors in the Psychology department and wish I would have taken the opportunity to talk with them more than I did,” Travis said.
Students can find it hard to speak to professors out of fear that they won’t understand or won’t want to hear what they have to say, but in most cases, from what these students have mentioned, the situation is the exact opposite.
CSU professors have been a main reason as to why the graduating seniors are excited to be transitioning from college to the real world because of the advice and guidance they have each provided.
For those graduating, “Students should understand that graduation anxiety is common, it’s not just happening to them,” said Dr. Mark Schmidt from the Psychology department. Schmidt also mentioned, “Specific fears seniors nearing graduation are likely to experience revolve around employment and student debt.” While talking to this professor and the psychology department, important advice students and faculty gave was to have people to talk to about the fears after graduation because, most likely, other students are going through that same fear.
Transitioning from college to adulthood can be both exciting and scary for many students, but this transition is where the real journey lies. Students discover the tools they need in college to follow their dreams and apply themselves in their future careers. Leaving college isn’t supposed to be easy, as many students have mentioned, but rather a challenge to fight for their rights to be who they want to be and follow their own passions.