Dear college graduates,
The day is coming. The day you have been waiting for probably since you started this journey. It is a day with so many hopes, dreams, and expectations. You have been thinking and dreaming about it for many semesters. And now, it is just a few weeks away. In a few short weeks you will become a college graduate. How does that feel?
Photo: Jenna Roth
When you are in high school, every teacher prepares you for what is coming next. They warn you about how to behave, the things you should do, and the things you should say. Some teachers may even tell you about teachers they know working at the college you are going to. The truth is that once you go to university, you realize most of them were just trying to scare you. You opened yourself to a new experience and – for so many of us – it ended up being one of the best of your life. Your fears calmed down, and college teachers – for the most part – were not as bad as you thought they would be. All-nighters were deadly but worth it. The random people you met in class will now be friends for a lifetime. The nervous student you were on the first day is watching you proudly as you get ready to take this new step.
Now the college teachers are the ones warning you about what will happen next. It is time you apply for a grown-up job. You may even have to find your own apartment in a whole different city. You really have no idea where life will take you. It is now when the real world will hit you; but, whether you believe it or not, you are ready for it. The things you have learned in the last years – not just academically – were preparing you for all the new challenges you will have to face. If you did not listen to your high school teachers, then I suggest you listen to the university ones because they do know what they are talking about.
My advice to you is do not freak out. Do not freak out if your dream job does not come along in weeks, months, or maybe even years after you graduate. Do not freak out if you do not immediately find a new apartment to move in to. Do not freak out if you feel things are not going the way you expected them to go. Things take time, and you need to be patient. Yes, maybe someone from your class will immediately land the perfect job; be happy for them and keep waiting for your opportunity. Good things will happen, I can promise you that. You just need to give yourself time to navigate this new grown-up world.
During these last few weeks of your final semester, take the time to be grateful for everything you experienced. Thank that one teacher who helped you the most or who made an impact on your life. Spend time with the friends you know you will miss the most. Study for your finals; they really will be the last ones. Take a walk down memory lane and laugh about all the good moments, get strength from the bad ones, and be happy you made it to the other side. Graduating college is a big deal, and you should be proud of yourself for having made it this far.
You’ve got this! Do your last effort and walk to that stage with your head held high to receive your diploma. The classes previous to yours are all cheering for you; waiting out here in the grown-up world.
A Class of 2018 student.
Lara was born in Argentina on Christmas; raised there and in Mexico. She graduated university with a BA in Latin American Literature and then moved to America where she currently lives with her girlfriend and cat. She works at a daycare as an Infant Teacher and during her free time you’ll find her reading or watching several TV shows while drinking diet coke.