Student Wellness: Graduation

Silver City, NM- We are just 11 days away from one of the biggest moments of a college senior’s life- graduation! Let me take the time to just tell you, congratulations! You have worked so hard to achieve this goal, and you deserve this time to pat yourself on the back and celebrate! While graduation is exciting, it can also be very stressful and anxiety provoking. You have known how to be a student for many years, and you have gotten good at it! And now you may be asking yourself “Who am I if I’m not a student? Am I going to get a job? What about my boyfriend/girlfriend? Will I stay in contact with my friends or is this goodbye?” Take a deep breath – everything you are feeling is normal! Make sure you have taken care of all the requirements for your classes and you are on track to graduate. This is the time to pay careful attention to your final exams, presentations, or essays so there is no way you will not receive that diploma. You may be almost done, but remember you still have your finals, and your professors do not want you neglecting your studies to celebrate. You will have plenty of time to enjoy your graduation, so these last 11 days, kick into gear and kill those final exams!
Although it’s important to prep for your final exams or exit exams, it’s also a time for you to reflect on your years here at Western. Take the time to remember all the memories you made with your friends, teammates, professors, parents, and others in your life. Take the time to thank all of those who supported you through this journey, and those who didn’t, because they each pushed you to be a college graduate. Remember the moments that made you who you are, and the moments that changed your life. We have all reached a turning point in our college years, so take a seat, lay on the ground, close your eyes, and think about that moment. For you athletes graduating, go back to the field or the court that has given you so much for many years, and the sport thank you for being there for you. For those of you in art or music, visit your work and materials, and tell them thank you for giving me the chance to get emotions out. For all of you, visit the place that inspired you so much, whether it’s a classroom, an outdoor spot, your dorm room, wherever, and thank it for your years here. And know, that you can always come back and visit if you need a little inspiration.
I’m sure many of you, me included, are experiencing the stress of finals, whether it’s a huge exam that counts for half your grade, or a research paper. In order to avoid studying at the last minute the night before the exam, or even the day of, start studying now! Go over the material for each class for about an hour a day, without necessarily going over it for the entire hour. Take breaks in between with a nap or a workout to get your mind and body going again. Read the material carefully, and read exam questions carefully. Make sure your essay contains all the information needed to answer question. Read the questions to make sure you are understanding what it is asking, some questions may be tricky, as well as the answers! Most importantly, take a break in between studying and enjoy yourself. Sometimes we get too stressed to the point when we are not retaining the material, which is of course not helpful. Take the time to relax, take a bath, walk your dog, meditate, do some yoga, anything that help you take your mind off of studying for the moment. Take deep breaths, gather your thoughts, and push through!
For those of you who are returning, don’t be in such a such a rush to graduate! Your college years are some of the best years of your life. Don’t worry about the future so much, but worry about being in the moment. You will have plenty of time to worry about graduation and what you are going to do afterwards. These years go by quick, and once they are gone you can never get them back. So enjoy your summer and come back during the fall ready to get back to work! Appreciate the education you are getting and work hard to eventually get to your own graduation.

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