I am graduating. Soon. So, I am panicking. Now.

In German, the panic as something is coming to an end is known as Torschlusspanik, which translates literally to gate-closing panic. The castle’s gates are closing, the enemies are encroaching, and you need to get through those gates ASAP. But you still have to herd your sheep, pack up your belongings, gather your wife and children. There’s not enough time. AHHH!!!

I have been writing my thesis since about mid-May, and it is just about done. Still, I am terrified to turn it in. Even more terrified to get feedback on it. And most terrified to defend it.

Then there is also the bureaucratic side of graduating as a foreign student. Luckily, Germany allows foreigners that graduate from German universities to get a job-search permit for up to 18 months. This is what I was hoping to get when my student visa becomes invalid on September 30th.

Just one problem: I won’t be turning in my thesis and other term papers until the end of September.

For “normal” students, you can already move on to the next stage of your life (job search, phD, whatever) as you wait for your official diploma. I distinctly remember going through the official graduation ceremony for my bachelor’s degree in the U.S. and not getting my official diploma until over a month later. Unfortunately, foreign students don’t receive this luxury. Through recent correspondence with my local foreigners’ office, they told me that I will not be able to get my job-search permit until I have my official diploma in my hand.

Until then, I need to enroll in the next semester (that’s 350€ in fees) and extend my student visa (~80€). A waste of my money and my time.

So, that’s where I’m at. Wrapping up my studies yet extending my student visa as I long for the day that I can move on with my life.