Graduation checklist: Incomplete

By Katie Wolf

I’ve been having mini-panic attacks for the past few months. They’re brought on each time I remember a very specific, monumental fact: I’m graduating this spring.

My first little episode happened when I registered for my winter 2010 courses. It was the last time I would ever register for classes at Oakland University.

The next jolt of anxiety came when I got the e-mail from the university that the application for graduation deadline was in January.

Next week will be my last spring break ever. It feels a little unnerving. Why didn’t I take more vacations? Maybe because I was too busy trying to graduate.

This is something I’ve been working toward for almost five years and it’s finally happening. In fact, I’ve been working on this degree for so long that it seemed like I would never reach the end.

Maybe that’s why I don’t have my shit together.

I still have to set up my internship, and I haven’t even bought a portfolio folder, let alone begun to put it together.

I did visit an academic advisor to make sure that all of my required classes are completed, and thankfully they are. I definitely recommend this -meeting, even if you think you’re sure you’re set — it offers a big peace of mind and a bit of smug satisfaction.

I printed out the 10-page spring commencement packet. Another panic attack — not only am I paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for my degree, but I’m also expected to pay $48.98 for my cap, gown, and tassel.

The truth is, I think even when I do have everything completed, I’m still going to be nervous. Walking in that processional will mean I no longer have the fall-back excuse of being a college student for any of my failings.

Even though it’s only February, I know May 1 is not that long away. Make sure you plan accordingly for your graduation. A good place to start is http://www2.oakland.edu/registrar/graduation.cfm.

I also suggest a bottle of Tums.