Starting Out

Throughout college, I felt like an adult. I mean, I lived in an apartment off campus, I could  totally eat whatever I wanted at the dining hall, and I could drink beer. Friends, the freedom was endless.

Adulthood was all but conquered. I had it figured out.

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the face of someone who clearly has everything figured out.

It wasn’t until my Senior year, mere weeks before graduation, when I realized college was the set of training wheels for Adulthood.

College was a safe, pretend adult bike ride. If I tried to get gutsy with my balance, trusty syllabi and my parents were there to get me back on track.

Thinking back to graduation, I still get butterflies. I was so nervous. I had no idea what the future held (duh) – I didn’t have a job or acceptance into graduate school, I didn’t know how long I’d have to live with my parents, and most importantly, I didn’t know what my future with Cory would be.

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I’m Type A to the core. I hate when anything is up in the air. I prefer everything to be tightly and neatly cemented to the ground. Always.

As I walked across the stage, I caught sight of my favorite professors and I felt the tears well up. I know what you’re thinking - Colleen! They graded you and made your life difficult for 4 years! Why cry?!

I cried because Longwood is tiny, and the relationship between students and professors is a special one. Those several professors met me as a scared 18-year-old freshman and helped mold me into a confident 22-year-old college graduate (even if I had no direction, they had me convinced I’d find it somehow ;) )

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I found my family soon after the ceremony, buzzing with excitement, ready to take a million pictures. For a moment, the oh-crap-what-happens-next feeling had evaporated. It was just a frenzy.

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It was when I finally met up with Cory, in front of the building which housed my major, that I felt calm.

As we stood there smiling for our parent’s cameras, Cory began telling me that as our chapter at Longwood was ending, he couldn’t help but start the next chapter without me by his side.

It was there, on the campus where we met, in front of the building in which I had spent countless hours, with our closest family members watching – he proposed.


In an instant, I went from feelings of anxiety about Real Adulthood, to looking forward to it with every fiber of my being, knowing that I’d have my best friend by side through it all.

We may not have it all together. We may still be starting out. I may I still have that weird paranoia that one day someone is going to pull the curtain down and say Ah-ha! She’s only pretending to know what she’s doing!

But I think that’s how the Freshman Year of Adulthood feels for everyone. And it’s good, knowing we’re not in it alone.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm. 


Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there


  1. says

    Cute! I graduated 10 years ago and I have less figured out now, than ever but I have a pretty fabulous partner and that makes the journey fun.

  2. says

    Great post! And so, so true!!! My hubby proposed a few weeks before graduation, but I didn’t have a job and his wasn’t steady at that time. Definitely nerve-wracking. I’m loving our current stage of life, 3 years in.:-)

  3. nameless_at says

    So sweet! Makes all of us recent college grads hopeful :) …maybe we’re never suppose to have it all figured out!

  4. Jennifer G. says

    Awww!! That’s an awesome story! I graduated 10 years ago (yikes) and have 4 kids….but I totally feel you on the pull-down-the-curtain-thing. I know I’m a bona fide adult, but sometimes it all feels a little surreal!!

  5. says

    Cuuuuuuuute. As I walked across the stage at my graduation, the announced read my name out loud “Georgina Pressley” and then I burst out laughing. Basically, my life summed up – something will go wrong, and I will laugh about it.

  6. says

    That is THE BEST story. I still don’t have my life figured out–doubt I ever will!–and continually wondering what the hell I’m doing. And, I’m older than you! I keep hoping I’ll find where I’m suppose to be.


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