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Hasler: Growing old is getting old

February 20, 2019

I think I would rather die than graduate. I’m not a fan of variable situations—I like certainty, and nothing is more certain than death.

 

With no plan, nor a trust fund (@Mom), post-grad is looking to be a highly volatile situation for me. Am I the only one?

 

The answer, of course, is “No,” but sometimes it’s easy to feel alone in this. After all, you are the only one responsible for you.

 

Whatever decisions you make now will affect you more than anyone else. That’s quite a bit of pressure—an entire life in your hands.

 

I remember when my friends graduated this past May with no plans and I had major anxiety for all of them.

 

One graduated with a biology degree and remained unemployed for the next six months.

 

Another graduated with a degree in social work but ended up disappearing to Michigan to work for her family’s fencing company.

 

Thousands of dollars to not even use your degree. Is this my future?

 

Naturally, I’ve entered a bit of an existential depression. Not only am I growing uncontrollably older, but I’ve entered a point in my life where everything is a giant question mark.

 

There are hundreds of articles and videos out there that tell me that it’s OK not to know what I’m doing and that it will find me in time.

 

That sounds nice on the surface, but no matter how much I tell myself this, it doesn’t catch.

 

The growing uncertainty has reminded me of the feeling I had freshman year. By the end of fall semester, I had just dropped my major and made no friends.

 

What the hell was I doing here? To top it all off, my dog died at the end of January. An excellent start to the semester.

 

Where was I going to go from here? Do I drop out and get a job back home at Kroger? Absolutely not.

 

Or do I transfer and see if I can start fresh? Sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, and maybe wouldn’t even result in anything different.

 

To this day, I avoid many of the habits I had then simply because they remind me of how lost I felt.

 

The shows I watched then haven’t played on my TV screen since.

 

I avoid the fifth floor of Carlson as much as possible.

 

There’s one thing, though, I do still do today, especially when I feel confused.

 

The end of that semester was incredibly sunny and warm. I had just started listening to the Silversun Pickups.

 

Their music isn’t necessarily happy, but something about their songs was optimistic.

 

Around this time, I started coming out of the darkest parts of that depression.

 

I wanted to tell this story because I think a majority of us have felt or are feeling this way, especially when faced with the unknown.

 

At the time, it may feel hopeless, and you may never figure everything out, but there is always a light at the end, even in the longest tunnels.

 

My friend with the biology degree eventually got a job and is in the final stages of interviewing with the University of Cincinnati.

 

My friend that went to Michigan eventually came back and got a job with Child Protective Services.

 

Getting older isn’t something that’s easy, especially once you’ve reached the age where every decision you make isn’t a certain one.

 

The one thing we can do is remind ourselves that, in the end, we will always make it through.

 

Seth Hasler is a fourth-year media communication major.

 

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