The countdown has begun and I’ve officially marked May 6 on my calendar as my final day as a student at Keene State College.

Now that I’ve begun my eighth and final semester as an Owl, it’s time to try and reflect on the past three and a half years, all while looking ahead to the future and figuring out my plans for the post-graduate life.

Back in August of 2013 I moved into Fiske Hall to begin orientation before entering my first year at KSC. I lived on the third floor with a perfect view of Fiske Quad. Weather permitting, there were almost always dozens of students playing games or taking in the sun and enjoying the open space that the Quad provided.

On May 6, I’ll be taking part in the graduation ceremony on that very same Quad.

I’ll be walking up to the stage, receiving my diploma and officially become a Keene State alumnus and make the transformation into being a working member of society.

The big question that remains at this point is where I’ll be working come May 7, and if I’ll be working at all.

The job application process has started. I’ve done my research, perfected my resume, written dozens of cover letters and submitted my credentials to just as many open positions with the hopes that I’d hear back from potential employers with a chance to make my case and earn a spot working for them.

I’ve talked with plenty of my classmates and it seems like the majority of them don’t want graduation to come around. The reality of facing the post-graduate life can be terrifying for a lot of people.

Whether they’re worried about joining the real world or don’t want to let go of the college life, they all have reasonable concerns about reaching college graduation.

Not me, though. I’m ready for graduation and have been for quite a while. It’s not that I’m so ready to leave KSC, it’s that I’m ready to see what life holds for me once I’ve left.

There are numerous aspects of my life that I’m ready to know about.

Samantha Moore / Art Director

Samantha Moore / Art Director

Whether it’s where I’ll be living or what kind of work I’ll be doing, I’m just curious about it all and in a few months, once I graduate, I’ll have a much better idea of where my life will be headed.

Just because I’m excited to graduate, people take a lot of assumptions about who I am and why I’m so ready.

Mostly, people think I’m naive and that I don’t know what’s waiting for me after I cross the finish line on May 6.

I know what I’m in for, and I know it’ll be a change from the college lifestyle I live, but I’m ready for it.

Perhaps the biggest assumption that people make when I tell them I’m excited to graduate is that I haven’t enjoyed my time at KSC, and that’s wrong.

KSC has provided me with some experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

I’ve met lifelong friends, had the chance to learn from one-of-a-kind mentors and worked for an award-winning newspaper.

I’m confident that I wouldn’t have had this type of experience had I attended any one of the other colleges and universities I applied to.

KSC has proven to me time and time again that it’s where I belonged for these past three and a half years and that I made the right choice in becoming an Owl.

Crae Messer can be contacted at cmesser@kscequinox.com