I’ve successfully made it through my first two weeks of living independently away from the comfort of family or campus housing. Okay, maybe the words successfully and independently are overstatements.

I moved off campus in December into a house about 15 minutes away from campus and a good half hour away from work. This is my first experience with rent, utilities and most importantly BUDGETING. I never expected that graduating college would be easy, carefree, or relieving and it definitely isn’t any of those things.

College, while school itself can be stressful, intense, and time consuming, has been a comfort to me for the past three and a half years. My main focus has been to do well in my classes and graduate with honors. Well my hard work has paid off. Now what?

During my time in school I had been so focused on getting good grades that I couldn’t think more than a few weeks in to the future. Sure I have worked to build an impressive resume and researched several career opportunities, but now that the day is almost here, I don’t feel all that prepared.

There are so many options out there that I do not even know where to begin. Journalism, marketing, human resources, public relations; all things that I love, but which do I choose? The next few months of my life will be consumed with job searches, interviews, revising my resume, and crossing my fingers while I hope for the best.

Along with my hard work the coming months will be filled with anxiety, sleepless nights, panic, and stress. Surely this stress will go away right? Right?? I know there isn’t a manual for becoming an adult (there should be, someone work on that, please, I beg of you), but this is my plea for advice and guidance.

I want to be independent and successful, but I know that it won’t happen over night. While all of this may have sounded like a complaint about growing up, I am actually looking forward to the unknown of becoming an adult. I’m thankful to have been supported and sheltered for the past 22 years of my life, but it is time for me to learn and support myself.

 I am blessed to have parents that have supported and guided me for so long. Graduating does not mean that I am completely on my own or cut off, but it is my time to learn how to support myself. I’m not only doing this for myself, I’m doing this for my parents. Not because they don’t want to help me or take care of me, but as a thank you for how much they have helped me in the past. I want them to know that the past 22 years weren’t a waste; they raised me well and set good examples of how to take care of myself.

Becoming independent does not mean that I don’t still need my parents; it means that they have done a great job and for that I will always be thankful.

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Taylor Cannon

Taylor was born in San Diego and grew up in Kearney, NE. From a young age Taylor has been environmentally cautious and concerned about social justice. She recently graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. Taylor has a passion for photography and volunteering. She hopes to encourage others to take action and become involved in both their local and global communities. Learn more about Taylor's photography at her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/taylorcannonphotos