There is a moment in all of our journeys when we realize we’ve succeeded at something. Whether that’s big or small, it’s a victory. And it grew us. Yet, in between these moments are reminders that we walk a road that prepared us for the most rewarding type of future. Reminders came in the form of exams, papers, deadlines, the list goes on. And while we were working through our college years, that list felt endless. Even our summers bore the stress that was to come once school began again. All of this stress, all of the late nights and early mornings? That was leading us somewhere. That led us here. To this moment. To this big, incredible moment. What we get to do walking forward, what we get to do with our now moment, that weighs on our shoulders. But it is in, no way, heavy. In fact, it is lighter than any paper or test or presentation has ever been. It is a light weight reminding us that our future has always existed. And now is the time to live it fully. Oh, the places we’ll go.
Graduation is around the corner and with that comes reflection (and of course, the ever-genuine complete terror to face the real world). We are seniors. We have studied more hours than we’ve slept, we’ve smiled through victories and cried through, well, everything else; and we’ve invested in ourselves and others. That? That is the road that took us beyond ourselves to reach goals we may have seen as impossible when we first stepped foot on our campuses. We aren’t who we were when we entered our schools, and we won’t be the same because of them. This is why we cannot go on as we were. We must go on as we never have before. The world is formidable and we are about to take our first steps into it.
As you straighten your caps and try your best not to trip on your gowns, stand tall and stand courageous. You are about to walk alongside your peers, mentors, and heroes, knowing that you have a brilliant future to be a leader, an advocate, and a world-changer. And there’s no doubt that you will be. Graduation brings empowerment, but also fear. I get that. Afterall, I’m a senior, too. The search for a job, finding means to stabilize your life and buy groceries (and your ever-necessary subscription to Hulu) is overwhelming. Take a deep breath, my friend. It’s hard, yes, but you can do hard things.
Someone really influential in my life once told me, “Don’t worry, kid. It’s always a little new.” I could not agree more. Take that and run with it, because there’s a whole lot waiting for you the second you cross that stage.
This world is about to meet a powerful and genuine person. You. Hold onto your hats, because you are about to fly.