On December 16, 2017, I will have to walk across a stage and accept an empty cylinder which will somehow symbolize my degree.

In the spring of 2015, I started my freshman year of college at ETSU after months of visa applications and stress about how I was going to be able to live in the U.S. Since then, I crossed that bridge and enjoyed magical months as a college student, but now I’m on the cusp of having to go through all of that again!

I have a knack of making friends with people who are much older than myself, so I have seen some graduated friends who have not been able to find a job near their field of study for some years.

When I began studying at ETSU, the reports showed that four out of five college graduates would graduate without a job. It was absolutely mortifying to me!

So for the past three years I have studied as hard and fast as I could and worked with many publications that would post or print my writing, just so that I could have an edge on my competition.

Along with all the regular stress and anxiety with actually obtaining my degree, I now face having to try my hand at the professional world or furthering my education. I have applied for both, but it’s not as simple as that for me I’m afraid. I have to get accepted either for a job or by a graduate school, then I have to apply for the visa that will allow me to stay in the country in order to utilize one or both of these options.

Either way, I am extremely grateful for being able to receive my diploma at the end of this year and ecstatic about following my dreams beyond college.