Countdown to Graduation: “218 Night” Incites Stress For Seniors

by The Cowl Editor on November 16, 2017


Tori Hallisey, Katie Sullivan, Pauline DiAgostino, and Megan Manning celebrate 218 Night.
Tori Hallisey, Katie Sullivan, Pauline DiAgostino, and Megan Manning celebrate 218 Night. Photo courtesy of Student Congress.

by Kelsey Dass ’18

Opinion Staff

Two hundred and eighteen days until the Providence College Class of 2018 steps into the great scary world.

The question is: are we ready?

The biggest concern about leaving PC is the fear of our worth. Are we going to be good enough?

“218 Night,” sponsored by Student Congress, was held on Nov. 11. The dance is designed to kick off the countdown to graduation. It also gives everyone the perfect opportunity to dress up with friends, drink responsibly, of course, and dance the night away. The dance itself was fun, especially the DJ who played throwback hits that always succeed in getting every person in the room on to the dance floor.

Through no fault of the dance itself, however, the night has stirred up a sense of sadness and panic in the hearts of the graduating seniors. There are 218 nights until graduation, and when we reach our final days there is an expectation for us to soar.

There are a variety of paths we could head down, as we leave the place we have called home for almost four years. Some students have opted to apply to graduate schools to further their education. Others have already been offered jobs derived from internship experiences. This in turn creates further panic for the PC seniors that spend every other day at the career office, perfecting their resumes and practicing interview skills. Then there is everyone else, taking the year to travel, moving to a new place, volunteering, going into armed service, just to name a few.

The options are endless. However, did PC give us enough to pursue them? With the country evolving at the speed it is, in addition to the increasing competition in the job market, many question whether or not a college degree is enough for a successful career. Coming out of college with a bachelor’s degree is being compared to graduating high school. Why is that? How can something that is so incredibly expensive be worth so little?

In every direction you turn, not only is there the pressure to do what you have studied for over the past four years—there is the expectation to do it with greatness.

In the words of Gandhi, “The future depends on what you do today.” From the poetry of Dr. Seuss, “You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

These are all very inspiring ideas, but how should we connect with them? When the time comes, will we be able to “go confidently in the direction of our dreams?”

There is always going to be a variety of philosophies for success. There will never be one answer that lets us know whether or not we are prepared for the big scary world. Nevertheless, there is one philosophy that rings true: grit, or perseverance. As Angela Lee Duckworth noted in her TED talk, “Grit is sticking with your future day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.”

Our success after graduation is not and should not be measured by what we do immediately after, or even by what we have lined up to do once we have gone. It is about the passion and commitment we obtain in the journey that leads us into our future.

The language we use around graduation has the ability to make us feel insanely small in comparison to the world we are expected to graciously enter.

Two hundred and eighteen nights have nothing on grit.

One thought on “Countdown to Graduation: “218 Night” Incites Stress For Seniors

  1. Another well written article by my baby girl, Kelsey Less Dass. So proud of all you have become in your 3.5 years at Providence.
    In addition to ones education, Grit and Perseverance will always be the foundation of ones success.

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