Graduating college is a monumental moment that brings up many feelings, including grief. Grief is the cousin of love. If you choose to love anyone or anything (which we all do), there will always be a possibility of grief present. When I was a little girl, I had this idea that everything lasted forever and even if it didn’t, it should. Little ole’ me couldn’t comprehend why a great moment, person, thing, habit, etc. had to have an expiration date. Many of us think about grief in the biggest term – death. But grief comes in many forms that are just as valid.
May 9 was the day of my graduation and I was in disbelief, but ecstatic and excited for life without school. I was so proud of myself for what I accomplished and couldn’t wait to kick my feet up and relax. What I wanted the most out of the post grad life was peace and freedom. I knew that slowing down and intentionally taking care of myself would be the best thing for my mental health and the future version of myself.
A week later, reality started to kick in and I began to have deep realizations that didn’t have the space to come through before. It was just me and me – in the house, chilling. A part of my self care routine is journaling and I went into a rabbit hole pondering about what wasn’t working in my life anymore as well as what I wanted to exist in my life. The list of what wasn’t working was absolutely gut wrenching. It ranged from destructive habits to my closest relationships. It was as if someone told me something completely opposite from what I expected to hear yet my body, mind and soul knew it was 100% true.
I wasn’t ready for that level of awareness mostly because I thought it would take away the joy I felt from graduation. I also wasn’t ready because it opened up a new level of responsibility to face, accept and embrace the truth of what is. Duality is always a concept in my mind that I understand yet face frustration and resistance when it shows itself. Some of the thoughts that entered my brain were “Am I EVER going to be happy?”, “Is middle ground even possible?” or “Why does my heart feel like a home for heartbreak?”
The grief that I felt over acknowledging what wasn’t working was a moment that kept me in bed all day, tears gliding down my face and my heart sinking in my chest. It was a flashback to that little girl that couldn’t comprehend why some of the things we enjoy come to an end or take a different form. However, I realized that as much as I didn’t want to face the truth of what was changing, I needed to so the next doors would open for me. In order for new blessings to emerge, there needs to be space for them to arrive. And still, I am grieving all that was, is, and could have been.
When grief is present, it’s not just about the person, the thing or the event. It’s also about what role that presence played for you and the symbolism you attached to it. You now have to reassign that and it can feel extremely confusing and isolating. For me, the grief I mostly faced was my outdated self-image, change in passions and close relationships. For you, it may be something different but it is likely to come up because life changes. Sometimes it’s a drastic change and other times it’s a mere uncomfortable shift.
Coping With Grief After Graduation
Change shows us that something different, and most of the time, better – is on the horizon. You know what they say; life tends to fall apart before it comes together. What they don’t tell us is that we don’t ever truly know how long the “falling apart” period is. I have come to the conclusion that there will always be something external happening around us that impacts us either positively or negatively. The goal isn’t to control what’s happening around you, but to embrace it and find stability within yourself. You are the only constant in your life and that’s a damn great thing as well as an honor. Sometimes the best way to have stability is to create it yourself.
Life is gonna look hell of a lot different after you graduate. It’s okay to miss the old you, your old life, your old friends, your old job, and your old relationships. Those moments gave you something that felt good in your soul and it’s valid to miss that. The beautiful thing is that you decide where you go from your moments of grief. You can grieve the loss, reflect on what it taught you, reminisce on the happiness/comfort that was provided, and honor yourself by moving forward in whatever way you know how. The more waves you ride, the better you get at surfing.
Affirmations for Change
As you embark on your new journey, here are a few affirmations to take with you:
- I am open to receiving all things of my highest good and have space for joy.
- I embrace my emotions for what they are without needing to change anything.
- I am grateful for my past experiences and I honor the lessons and knowledge that was provided to me.
- I am compassionate and gracious with myself as I experience change.
- I am worthy of abundance and I open my heart, mind, body, and soul to experience it.
Until next time,
jazmyn anderson says
I literally can relate to this so much. Congrats again on graduation and launching the blog! I went through this relatively quickly after graduation especially because the hope and dream of “getting the job I went to school for” was happening for everyone “but me” and at the time it hurt, but after the fact I realized it was because that image of what I thought I was supposed to do/be and what it was supposed to look like changed. Changed faster than I expected it to. I felt A LOT of grief around it and ultimately it led me to starting my blog. So proud of you for letting yourself feel and deal, it’s not easy, but it’s such a reward to be on this side of things. I’m extremely happy for you and know everything will continue to be revealed the way it’s supposed to.
Hey! My name is Mariah and I wanted to discuss with you about your blog because I also have a blog and is wanting to know more about what to expect and how to expand. Thank you
Kee Rose says
Hi Mariah, Thank you for reading 🙂 Feel free to email me or DM me on instagram!
Iman Muhammad says
Reading this warmed my heart because I truly understand everything you discussed. I recent just graduated undergrad so I think I’m going through my own grieving process but you definitely gave me a different perspective I needed to hear. Thank you so much ! I look forward to reading more of your blogs 🙂
Dj Benephit says
This is an extremely well written piece about how we perceive life vs the reality of life and steps on how to process all those crazy feelings that we have about life!! Congratulations on your graduation and by the looks of this “Life with Kee Rose” article, I would say that you have Great things ahead and I know you will do well with your challenges and achievements!!
God Luck Kee Rose
This was very well written and very relatable. Every new challenge comes with new emotions and a new way to change for the better. Congrats on your graduation and continue to inspire all who are open. Good luck with Life with Kee Rose and God speed.
Jean Grant says
What extraordinary insight! Please know that this circle will continue throughout life, but the first step to overcoming is knowing. You have already championed that. You are such a bright young lady. I am so proud of all you have accomplished and look forward to your next move. Wishing you much love, blessings and success.
Monica Campbell says
Well 1st congratulations on your Graduation, well written and I would love to share with my daughter and other new graduates… Rise and be true to your future and all that is before you.
Kelly C says
Totally relatable! Excellent article! Refreshing to know others are feeling similar; and it’s natural! Thanks for enlightening the masses!
Monique Y Graham says
I am so proud of you. This touched my heart and soul. You are a blessing to many. Love you.
Deidra Reese - God Mommy says
Congratulations Kee I’m so proud off you and I love your blog.
VICTORIA R ROBERTS says
Congratulations Queen! The world is yours. Your insight is an inspiration to many. Stay Blessed!
Penny Simmons says
Thank you for sharing your story. Good luck to you in your next endeavors. Congratulations!!!
Barbara Dozier says
This truly touch my ❤ and very well written. No, I am not a graduate, but my daughter went through these same feelings and emotions when she was graduating from college. She graduated from St. Augustine in NC in 2004. I do understand fear of facing life growing up. It’s a beautiful thing as a young adult you came to understand that life will throw you opticles and challenges, and you choose to grap it by the horns. I’m glad you put it out there cause so many college graduates are feeling these same feelings and most may not know how to handle it. You are an AMAZING…AWESOME… FEMALE 🥰🥰 May GOD continue to bless you in all your endeavors.