Not All Change is Bad

Change is hard. Sometimes it’s scary and uncomfortable and other times it’s exciting and new. Here at The Outlook, we undergo such changes every May when we’re expected to transition from freshmen to sophomores, juniors to seniors, or seniors to full-time, working adults. The thought of moving on after getting comfortable in the positions we’ve occupied for two semesters is unsettling. No matter what we are planning to do when finals week is over, the uncertainty of those future experiences is what makes us nervous or excited to move on.

Many editors will be graduating this May, leaving the world of Monmouth altogether. Though most have grown and matured during their four years here, some editors still feel unprepared to enter the real world. We have been sheltered at the University to an extent, depending on professors, faculty and email reminders to get us through our college careers. Now, graduating seniors are tasked with managing themselves and their responsibilities without the guidance of their professors.

“I feel like Monmouth has kept me in a little bubble for four years and I don’t want to leave that bubble, ever,” said one editor. “Monmouth Hawks fly together so why must I fly away?”

The hardest part to take in for a lot of seniors is that they will not be returning to school in the fall. School is all we have ever known since kindergarten. To suddenly stop going is somewhat of a shellshock.

Many students are still feeling overwhelmed about not having a career lined up immediately after college, or even knowing what jobs they should apply for. “It is no longer a direction but a possibility of many, which also leads to excitement, but also fear,” another editor said. “It is like leaving home to go to college all over again, but this time Monmouth is my home and I have no idea where I am going next.”

Some editors expressed that they are not ready to give up the social scene that the University offers. After graduating there are no more Thirsty Thursdays or college nights every Tuesday at Jack’s, and going out on weeknights is almost impossible because adults have to wake up early for work Monday-Friday.

Though the anxiety of moving on can seem crippling, there are resources at the University to help ease graduates into the real world. Career Services is available during the week for students who need help with resumes, job applications and simply knowing where to look. One editor said that some departments also send out emails with job listings to their students.

Graduating may be scary, but it isn’t the only cause of anxiety in students. One editor will be studying abroad in the fall semester, and though she is excited, she said she is nervous about being somewhere that is so unfamiliar. “If I was staying on campus for the first semester of my junior year I wouldn’t think twice about it,” she said. “But now that I’ll be living in Europe for four months, there are a lot of different things I have to prepare for and take into consideration.” She added that despite her nervousness, the Study Abroad office is helpful and supportive in preparing students for travel.

Students don’t have to graduate or travel abroad to experience anxiety about transitioning to the next year. Underclassmen watch the seniors prepare for the future and express fears and concerns, giving other students a look at what’s ahead for them. They may not know firsthand the experience of finding a full-time job just yet, but we are surrounded by fellow students and friends who do. Underclassmen are then under pressure to search for jobs and internships themselves.

Ultimately, the University has gone above and beyond to make sure students are as comfortable as possible while transitioning to the next step in their education and career, however, the fear of moving on still affects most people. Though, with the nervousness that comes with transition also comes excitement. Change may be frightening, but new experiences can be rewarding. With the support that the University provides, we are as prepared as we can be, no matter what the next stepping stone is on our path to success.