Can you handle post-college life?

Finally, it is over. Well not for me but for my many friends who will be gladly walking across the stage come next Friday.

And to them I say, I’m so proud of you. Not only will you receive your diploma, many of you will be making family history, becoming the first person in their family to graduate from college.

As you give up your title as a college student, I wonder if you can look back on your college experience knowing that you fully enjoyed every minute of it.

I know every day may not have been a walk in the park, having to deal with both personal and school-related problems, but was it all worth it?

You may have gotten towed one too many times. And yes, maybe you had to stand in a three-hour financial aid line only to be told what you can see for yourself on OurFAMU. But at least you can say that you have racked up life-long memories.

As an extreme advocate of living life to the fullest, graduating seniors, are you ready to leave your college ways behind you?Even though I am not a senior, I am looking to the future to make sure that when I reflect on my college life, I have no regrets and have adequately prepared myself for my future after undergrad.

There is no substitute for the college life as a time to figure out exactly what you want and don’t want out of life. It is a chance to explore living on your own and making your own rules and regulations.

Here, most students are given all the freedom of an adult but are rarely given all the responsibilities.

For example, if you only have $400 in your checking account but decide to blow $350 of it in Miami on spring break, knowing that you are not getting paid for another week, society would say, “Now that was stupid, but they are in college.”

Now take that same scenario and apply it to a college graduate who is now a teacher.

Society would say to them, “That teacher should have known better; that was just unacceptable.”

So how will you assimilate into the real world?

No longer will some of you be living in a town that surrounds most events around your lifestyles. No longer will most be given a two-month summer break, three-week winter break and multiple off-days.

Yeah, I know many of us have gone on internships and rotations that have prepared us for our future jobs.

But what have we done to prepare ourselves for the lifestyle change that many students will experience?

Graduates, as you walk across that stage and into your new life, I hope that you are ready for the transformation that you are about to experience.

Congratulations, and be well.

Katrelle Simmons is a junior English education student from Orlando. She can be reached at