No Longer & Not Yet
College: A seven letter word, that when we are 18 means nothing more than furthering our education, meeting new people, making new friends, and enjoying the next four years of freedom away from what we have known forever. This world, the unknown, can be quite scary to an 18 year old, until one day you wake up and realize that these four years spent, some of the best times of our lives, have passed us by in the blink of an eye and the real world is ready to await us.
Graduation: A ten letter word that at 22 means everything more than accomplishing our goals, making memories that will last forever, studying until three in the morning, running to class because we forgot that important piece of paper, that without it we feel as if the world has ended. Somewhere in-between our 18-22 year old self, we have grown and become lost in these memories that pass us by so fast and enter a world where we now don't know what lies ahead. There is no road map, no right or wrong destiny, no direct answers; only mere pretenses and dreams of what is to come.
We no longer are waking up at 7:45 just to reach our 8:00 class on time, but we not yet know the feeling of waking up even earlier every day to rush out the door before hitting the endless row of cars on our journey to life. We are no longer cramming the night before for an exam or preparing for a presentation that we had a month to work on, but we not yet are staying up all night with a crying baby, a child who is sick, to then find our alarm going off two hours later. We no longer are scavenging for quarters so that we are able to do our laundry in just enough time to wear our favorite outfit, but we not yet know what it is like to support a family, save money to plan for a vacation, pay back our loans, and know what it is like to sometimes struggle in times of need. We no longer are searching for that perfect major, the one that fits us, that inspires us, but we not yet know the defeat and triumphs of this very world; a world so big that obtaining a job, a career, seems almost impossible at times.
To my fellow recent college graduates, this unknown world, the one we once knew so much about, is awaiting our embarkment. The hard work is paying off and although the "real world" is a scary new place, we are ready. We are no longer 18 entering the walls of a university, planning our future, but we are 22, ready to take on this challenging task, making a difference in the world. We may not know where we are headed or have figured out what we have left behind, but that is okay. In time, we will know, we will be prepared, and we no longer will be in-between.