To the graduates of the class of 2015, Congratulations! After four LONG years of caffeine-induced all-nighters, team projects, crazy parties and procrastination, you now have a $40,000 piece of paper that is proof that you are indeed smart, kind and important. Now what?
It's hard to believe that four years ago today, I too was in your shoes walking the aisles of Syracuse University for the final time and thinking to myself, "I have no idea what's happening, but I'm just going to smile to keep from crying."
Truth be told, you're going to have a lot of moments like that now that you're in the real world. Speaking from experience, it is those moments on the struggle bus have made me the bad-ass unicorn that I am today. Don't get it twisted - I've still got a StruggleBus pass, (because it be like that sometimes) but those moments don't last forever.
First things first - take time to BREATHE. After all, you did just finish four years of school. Take the time to read a book, unplug from IG, Snapchat and Facebook or just stare into space. This 'free time' you may have been used to in college doesn't really exist once you start working, paying bills and having to cook dinner for yourself, so cherish it.
Secondly, if you're employed with a job or internship, awesome! If you don't, now is NOT the time to panic. Find some chill and utilize the resources around you. (*cough LinkedIn, Twitter, picking up the telephone, attending alumni receptions cough*) When I moved to DC four years ago, one of the first things I did was look up alumni that either shared my same major or similar career interests. There are people out there willing to help you - but YOU must be willing to help yourself first.
And finally, enjoy the ride! Within the first six months, you're going to experience A LOT of change and you MUST be ready and willing to welcome it with arms wide open. Not only will Sallie Mae hitting you with the #BBHMM, but you're bound to experience some growing pains that only those who have been in your position before will understand. It's okay to get frustrated at times, but keep in mind that Oprah, Beyonce nor First Lady Michelle Obama were built in a day. Have patience with yourself and the process, and you'll start to recognize your true passions will become a lot more clearer with time. So get out there and make a new friend, try a new hobby or travel to a new place. The world is your oyster!
That's all the wisdom I've got today, folks. Again, my most heart-felt congratulations to you on this awesome accomplishment, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck. This blog became my saving grace once I graduated from college, and now I'm just blessed to able to continue sharing my brain bubbles of encouragement to the millennials that come behind me.
Cheers to you!