Graduation is a paradox that can be both exciting and scary. Sometimes it feels like the future is right there in our grasp and the world is wide and open; sometimes it can feel scary and endless. To all those graduates who might be feeling lost or scared, I just want to say that you are not alone and it is okay. If there is anything that can be learned from this past year, it is that one never knows what happens in the future. One can plan for it but life happens, such as the pandemic which uprooted many plans like our entire senior year at college.
If you are feeling scared or anxious about the future because you do not know what to do in life, it’s okay; you can figure it out. A piece of advice I got from a professor recently for many graduates who might be lost like me, is to work on our hard and soft skills. He said if you are confused about grad school now, apply for many jobs and start working and gaining experience in the workfield. That will allow you to learn more skills and will help you get better jobs in the future. When you feel that you are not learning anything new and not going to grad school is holding you back in the work field, then apply to a graduate school. He said, that way, you will get accepted into a better graduate school too and you can have more options. I agree with him, that by experiencing all different jobs in the workfield, you will have a better understanding of what you want to do in graduate school or the future. Experience is key and if you feel left behind or anxious that you are not on the same path as your other college or high school friends/peers, don’t be. Everyone’s journey in life is different and the best thing to think about is living in the present.
We will face many obstacles in our future and many people around you will have an opinion about your life or tell you how you should live it, whether that be your family members or even friends. You cannot compare the sun to the moon, “they shine when it’s their time.”
Likewise, don’t live in the past or think about how much better off it was in college. It is our time to be excited! We graduated in a pandemic, how many people can say that in history? We did it and we should be proud. As we look forward to our graduation day , the day we walk the stage, just remember, we should be proud and that it is ok to be scared for the future, but we can also be excited about the future because life is unpredictable. You never know where you might end up in this crazy adventure called life. Now, as I write this, a song from Hannah Montana is playing on my Spotify playlist and it definitely applies to all my fellow seniors.
“I always knew this day would come
We’d be standing one by one
With our future in our hands
So many dreams, so many plans
I always knew after all these years
There’d be laughter, there’d be tears
But never thought that I’d walk away
With so much joy but so much pain
And it’s so hard to say goodbye
But yesterday’s gone. We gotta keep moving on
I’m so thankful for the moments, so glad I got to know you
The times that we had I’ll keep like a photograph
And hold you in my heart forever
I’ll always remember you”
As we say goodbye to our college memories, know that this is not the end. There are many of us who might not have had the typical college experience or feel that they have missed out on many important college experiences or life because everyone keeps telling us our best times in life will be in college. I do not agree with that, I believe the best is always yet to come, no matter where we are in life. We just have to hustle, smile, and live truly in the present. This might sound extremely cliche, but it’s true.
Good luck to all my fellow Seniors from the class of 2021. I’ll be rooting for every one of you!