Celebration and Fears Experienced by Graduates
By: Hannah Garratt, Clinical Intern.
Graduation, whether that is from middle school, high school or college can be an exciting and
celebratory time! You get to celebrate the completion of a big milestone. But it can also leave
you wondering, “what’s next?” and with a fear of the unknown. For middle schoolers, you may
be pondering what high school life will look like and being stressed over figuring out a whole
new building. For high schoolers you may be processing leaving home, perhaps for the first time,
and establishing a new community. For college aged graduates you are trying to figure out how
to get a job, filing your taxes and finding a place to live.
Here are some helpful things to keep in mind as you celebrate these huge milestones and
contemplate what this next chapter holds:
1. Think about how far you have come. With all that is ahead of us, it can be important
to reflect on what you have learned.
2. Identify your goals. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and steps to get there.
Be reasonable in your goal setting, a helpful thing to keep in mind is the acronym
SMART. It stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Starting
with small, achievable, goals can help us work our way up to the bigger goals.
3. Gather a support network. When managing post graduation anxiety it is helpful to
build a strong support system. Friends, family, and mentors can help supply a listening
ear, give emotional support, and offer life guidance. They can also help you focus on your
goals and cheer you on to keep going.
4. Anticipate and stay positive. Try thinking about the things and opportunities you have
to look forward to. It can be easy to get discouraged, but try to focus on the positives and
the small wins. Remember the first step of thinking about how far you have come? Take
some time to appreciate the progress you have made and don’t compare your journey to
Change can feel overwhelming and scary, take some time to process, relax and breathe. Need
someone to process this transition with? I, Hannah Garratt, would love to process through this
season with you, please feel free to contact our office at 847-854-4333 or email me at