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An Open Letter To My Fellow Graduates

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Montclair chapter.

Dear fellow graduates,

4 (+) years ago we entered an unknown territory called college. We’ve all had our pre-assumptions and expectations of this experience: what our majors would be, how our social lives would just magically sky rocket, the idea that we’d find love (or get laid,) we’d find our passion, but most importantly it’s the time we expected to find ourselves. And now at the end of our college career, we realize that some of those things didn’t happen the way we’d expected them to – and that’s okay.


It’s What You Make of It

They say college is the best four years of your life. Sure, I’ve had a great time in college that I will cherish forever, but fun times are not over. I won’t let college be the only great years of my life because I refuse to see it that way and neither should you. As cliché as it sounds, life is what you make it. Your life can be even better after college or it can be crap; it all depends on you and your attitude.

People are always saying, “Now the hard stuff starts.” “I miss college. Life was so much easier.” We have this tendency to romanticize things from our past. You know how sometimes we catch ourselves saying we miss high school, but when we were there we actually hated it? Same idea applies here. Try and see it for what it is. Yes, college was great, but what’s to come will be even better because we’ll be able to handle it with a bit more grace.

College wasn’t easy. It’s structured in a way to prepare you for what you can expect in regards to work load, but we just got through one of the biggest challenges of our lives. We did it. We dealt with the pressures of getting work done while dealing with outside challenges such as jobs, social life issues and anxiety because hey, that’s what college does, and so much more.

And I want to congratulate you. You got through it. Despite the doubts you and others around you may have had, the insecurities, the feeling of not knowing what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, you got through it. Therefore, you will get through this next chapter. Because you’ve endured so much and you’re capable of more than what you think.

Focus on You and Welcome the Unknown

Life after college is crucial. We’re young adults who don’t have it all figured out. Ironically, the older we get, the more we realize that no one has it figured out, and that’s the important thing to remember. Stop comparing your behind the scenes with everyone’s highlight reel.

We live in a time where people’s lives can easily be misconstrued becau

se of Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. People’s lives will always seem amazing on social media. We all want others to think our lives are amazing because we want others to think that we’re successful because we’re a generation that’s so afraid to be vulnerable. In reality, it takes a certain strength in being vulnerable because you’re finally being yourself in you’re truest, purest form. So don’t let it fool you. None of us really know what the hell we’re doing with our lives and there’s a beauty in this mystery. The sooner we accept that we will constantly be facing unknown territories, the happier we’ll be.

Life isn’t like how we thought it was in middle school. By now we’ve learned that things barely go as planned. And honestly, if it doesn’t go as planned, chances are the alternative ends up being better anyway. Sometimes it’s best to just roll with the punches and wing whatever life decides to throw at you. So take this time after college to do what it is you want.

You want to take a year off and travel? Do it. You want to take the job you’re not sure you’ll like? Do it. Let the challenge and fear drive you into a stronger and better version of yourself. Whatever you do, don’t stay still. Let go of whatever is holding you back, whether it is you or those around you. Fuck it. Take a chance and just do it.


We Can Handle Anything

Our time here has been one of a kind. We met and socialized with all kinds of people, we pulled a billion all-nighters, we skipped class, we survived with barely any money and food all the while being pushed to our breaking point. Because let’s face it – it’s not college unless you’ve felt like absolute crap at some point. So who’s to say we can’t face the next chapter in our lives?

We can physically and mentally endure so much and we know that because we’ve mana

ged to make life work under all these crazy circumstances over the last four years. So stop worrying about life after college. You’ll cross that bridge when you get there. Just like you managed to get through this, you’ll get through whatever’s next and thrive.


Last, But Not Least

To my fellow graduates, I urge you to never rid yourself of that spark you have that makes you, you. Don’t give up on your dreams, no matter how far fetched they may seem, and most importantly, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re only this young once. Enjoy your post-grad life, make the best of it, and keep kicking ass.

Congratulations, Class of 2016!


A soon to be recent grad who’s just winging it <3

Jenn is currently a senior (Class of '16) at Montclair State University, majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. Some of her passions include writing, music, and photography. When she's not busy with school or interning at Seventeen.com, you may find her on some sort of adventure in New York City singing at the top of her lungs at a concert. She enjoys being in the company of dogs, eating chocolate, and making new friends. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram (@jennmx3).