Ah, graduation: The culmination of (at least) four years of hard work. The late nights and early-onset ulcers have finally paid off. It's time to don your cap and gown and cross the stage to collect that $200,000 piece of paper. Class of 2014, you did it — and you have reason to feel proud.
But graduation marks more than just the end of your college era. It also marks the beginning of your entry into the dreaded Real World. (And not the fun kind, where you get to live in a house with seven strangers for free.) Yes, you're done pulling all-nighters to cram for tests, but the trade off is no more judgement-free day drinking and a sudden expectation that you now have to put on real pants to begin your day.
As you graduate, you're likely feeling all the feels right now. We get it. We're here for you with proof that you're not alone. We promise, even though they might all be holding it together in public and posting mature, optimistic Facebook statuses that make you want to die, everyone in your graduating class is feeling all these confused feelings too. If you just graduated, or are about to, here are all the things you're feeling like, you hot mess you.
Like Taylor Swift
Are you happy, free, confused and lonely at the SAME TIME? Is life miserable and magical? You, my friend, might be feelin' 22. And also, you might be graduating.
Like Leo in Titanic (Pre-freezing)
Okay, Taylor Swift, take a moment to relish in the accomplishment of graduating. Yes, it's all happening right now, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take a sec to let your inner Leo out. You are the King of the World. Own it.
Like An Olympic gymnast
Reflecting back on what you've accomplished will make you realize that you're mostly just relieved it's all over.
Like Britney Spears judging X Factor
Just when you're feeling crazy-accomplished and oh-so-relieved about graduating, another emotion is going to creep up on you: Utter Confusion. Yeah, you're finished with college, but...what's next? Grad school? A job? Like, a real job? How do you get one of those, anyway? What if you can't get one? Will you be homeless? Will you have to move back into your parents' house in Nowheresville, USA where there are no jobs you want at all? Time's up: It's starting right. Now.
Like This terrified infant
Don't be alarmed. This is actually totally normal.
Like Merida from Brave
Quick! Find someone to slap you in the face or splash you with cold water. You need to focus. There are decisions to be made here. Time to suppress all of these negative feelings. Best to post an Instagram of your cap and gown with a caption about how surreal it all is and get your head back in the game.
Like a young Simba
Look at that Instagram for a few minutes. Watch the likes accumulate. That's false pride. Enjoy it.
Like A BAMF
About 20 likes in on that Instagram picture, your confidence will swell. You're going to win awards/change lives/be rich/famous/whatever it is you're out to accomplish after college. You are the best. You are the Jennifer Lawrence of life.
Like Mrs. Doubtfire
You're feeling on top of the world until some old friend from high school contacts you asking what you're going to do next. Suddenly, you feel like Mrs. Doubtfire in that scene with the social worker. You're faking it through graduation and your cake icing-mask is melting fast. In fact, looking back on your college career, you're not even sure you deserve a degree.
Like Pharrell Williams
But you are so damn happy thinking back on your time in college. Now that you're thinking about it, college really was the best time of your life. It can't get much better than this...
Like James Van Der Beek
Stop crying, Dawson. You'll see your friends again. You'll keep in touch (hopefully...probably...maybe...). You haven't peaked. Your best days are ahead of you! Oh, here, buddy, have a tissue.
You don't have to be just happy or sad about college ending. It's both of those things and neither of them. It's bittersweet. Embrace it. Write a self-indulgent personal essay, and move on.
Like Emma Watson
We know how you're feeling. It's everything all at once and totally impossible to articulate. I'll turn it over to your fellow 2014 grad, Emma Watson, for the best explanation I've yet to find: kjshdlkjhdlksjzdskljfljkfjksf!
Congrats Class of 2014!