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Complaint Letter

By Amy Zaiter, copy editor: the chicago bloc[k] (

Dear Graduation,

You are more frightening than anything I have encountered yet in life. You are when I choose you to be and yet you have this power over me. Your timing will allow people to judge all the things I will have done before and will have yet to do for so long after finally meeting you.

Since Elementary school I have always known my next step. Middle school came next, High school after that and eventually college. But what was to happen when college came to an end? You are the last set-in-stone thing I have planned in the foreseeable future. You are the last thing keeping my “student-self” apart from my “real-world-self”.

I am scared and yet I feel on the brink of a newfound empowerment. I am scared to leave behind the student-life, the only life, I have known and yet I feel empowered that I will be out trying something new. Even if that means waiting tables for a while, backpacking through countries I have always wanted to see in the cheapest way possible. Knowing I have the freedom to try more things will be worth potential periods of unemployment and break before graduate school.

I am afraid of your stage, the anticipation of waiting for my name to be called and the possibility of tripping in front of friends, family and a lot of strangers I never had the time to meet. I am afraid of never feeling a part of something bigger than myself again, I am afraid of feeling alone and I am afraid I will miss all the things about school that I find so easy to complain about now.

I am afraid I might actually find myself wishing I had more to do, I am afraid I will lose contact with friends and I am afraid friends will lose contact with me. I am afraid of the awkward congratulatory mail from family I hardly see and friends I rarely speak with anymore and I am afraid of the dreadful thank-you cards I will have to write in return.

I am afraid of the pressure your passing puts on me to find a “big-girl job” and to make something of myself, something worthy of Bachelors degree. I am afraid of the real world and the feeling that your date marks the time between student and “real adult”.

Finally, I am terrified that not much will change at all. That even if I am not going to class I will continue about my life, working, saving up, striving for those same goals I have always had outside of class-work. I am confident in myself and terrified, because your passing carries too much pressure for how I should be and not for how I am comfortable and confident being.

Until May,

Terrified and Afraid


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