An Open Letter to My Soon-to-Be Graduate

To My Boyfriend on Graduation Day,

It’s finally here -- graduation! Four years of hard work and homework, procrastinating and partying, and now it’s time for you to walk across that stage.

Right now, I know that you’re thinking about every single unknown attached to your well-earned degree. You’re thinking about living in an apartment of your own, and figuring out a budget for each month on a salary that seems a little too low for someone so passionate about what they do. You’re thinking about being completely on your own, and wondering what that’s going to be like, especially without a family that can be at your door in twenty minutes to help you figure out what the hell you’re doing. You’re thinking about what it’s going to be like to work full-time, and whether you can do this job well. I mean, you got a degree in this field, but it’s different, right? Writing a paper is different from putting everything you’ve spent four years learning into practice. Life feels like it’s coming at you full-speed and, with only a few days until graduation, the future seems a little bit daunting.

But, instead of thinking about all the things you don’t know, I want to remind you about what you do know. There is no one on this planet more passionate and more dedicated to the field that you have chosen. Your internship was absolutely phenomenal, and has prepared you so well for the job that you’ll be starting in a matter of days. You know how much you love what you do and the people you work with. You are prepared and you are so unbelievably capable. This is the first stepping stone in your career, and you are so ready for it. I want to remind you that even though you feel nervous about getting lonely, you’re never alone. Your family is a phone call away, and I am too!

No matter what, we’re always with you, standing beside you, and we couldn’t be more excited for you as we come together to celebrate this amazing achievement. I want to remind you of all the work that you put into this diploma, so any time you start to worry that maybe there are too many things you don’t know, look at the proof that says, hey -- obviously, you do.  

Don’t feel intimidated by your future, no matter how close it seems. You’ve earned this. You’ve spent four years working towards this moment, towards this career, towards the opportunity to build your life independently. College is hard, and you should be incredibly proud of all that you have accomplished. If you can get through that, you can get through anything -- and that includes these next steps.

In these next few days before you don your cap and gown, I want you to remember all the incredible moments of the past four years. I want you to think about the times that you didn’t think you could pass an exam or write a paper, and then I want you to remember that you did. Every obstacle has been conquered, every stressful night has ended, and now here you are.

This world is so full of opportunities for you. You are about to start on this new adventure, and I couldn’t be prouder or more excited for you. Yes, there will be stress and struggle, but there will also be laughter, love, and endless experiences that make every stressful moment worthwhile. Remember that you’re never alone in all of your endeavors, and no mountain is insurmountable. Be excited and be proud, because, baby, this was all you.

Congratulations on your achievements, and be sure to celebrate! I love you!

-- Your Proud and Loving Girlfriend