Anticipation of the Cliff Pit

It’s that time of year. The time for those coveted commencement speeches, race to meet deadlines, and the anticipation of life’s transitions. It’s an exciting time, but may also be filled with uncertainty and unease.

For many, the college experience resembles an early stage of adulthood, but with training wheels. Students have easier access to resources, funneled experiences to get involved with the larger community, facilitated experiences to build relationships and campus community, etc. College students become some of the most civically engaged people in our society, but upon graduation - that superlative drastically changes.

Graduation comes with an overbearing sense of transition, especially for alternative breakers. What was once a ground for community, dialogue, and action quickly becomes your alma mater - a place filled with memories and nostalgia. Even the most active student leaders experience a period of isolation and disengagement upon graduation, whether or not they relocate to a new city.

Alternative breakers who carry the lens of active citizenship through their post-collegiate experience, whatever that experience may be, can exist as vital members in small groups that are still committing to action or building strong communities.

It’s not easy, but we’d like to challenge alternative breakers to anticipate the post-college transition, which we refer to as the “Cliff Pit,” and face it headstrong - remembering that community is at the core of an active citizens’ success. Ask yourself:

  • How can you become engaged in a new space?
  • In what ways can you invest in the people around you?
  • What sort of role can you play if you’re not ready to lead in a new community?
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