The “grown-up” world is scary. It’s unknown, uncharted territory, but hopefully with the help of this article, moving on to the next phase of your life will be a little bit easier.

With graduation rapidly approaching, the thought of moving on is haunting me. Even amid all my nightly homework, presentations and the all-around stress of my classes, all I can think about is my impending move to New York–and unemployment. I know, I hate that word too. It makes my “perfectionist self” cringe and stirs up all those old feelings of failure.

The thing is, you don’t have to be a senior to understand these feelings. In 5th grade, the 6th grade terrified me more than anything. Now, what terrifies me is what comes after walking across stage in Allen Arena in my cap and gown. For other students, it might be the unease of knowing Lipscomb isn’t the place for you and finding the right school that is.

Sometimes that terrifying thing could be taking Intro to Communications, pledging a club, or studying abroad. There are so many things that are completely unknown, but the good news is, the brave people before you have survived these new phases.

You’re probably wondering how. I was too until I came across two beautiful words: letting go. This doesn’t mean that you should let your grades slip, but it does mean that we all deserve some space from ourselves.

With all the pressure we put on ourselves, it’s no wonder that we end up shaving 5 years off of our lives after each year comes to a close. We all unwind in different ways: meditation, prayer, reading, music, art, etc. For me it’s all the above. I just realized that I couldn’t keep forcing myself to meditate or read or draw when that wasn’t the type of “letting go” that I needed.

It’s okay to go through phases where you can’t stand the thought of prayer or meditation or music. Instead, it’s so important to find something (every day if you can) that brings you joy and pulls your mind away from your tiresome thoughts. I have found that my current form of letting go is stepping away from my LinkedIn profile and Monday’s teleprompter script, turning on some Nina Simone and actually spending time with the book I’ve been reading for months. Honestly, most nights I just binge-watch “Parks and Recreation” because Leslie Knope inspires me daily.

Letting go isn’t always a huge act of release, although if someone finds a way to do this please notify me ASAP. Letting go is lighting a candle, taking a long shower, picking up an old book or really anything that you need in the moment to get away from your own pressure.

I’m still afraid for the future no matter how much “letting go” I do. But, it does remind you that everything is going to be okay.

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