To the senior about to graduate from college,
When you start to embark on this season full of crazy unknowns and new milestones at every corner (a.k.a the great momentous post-grad life) understand that this next chapter may not always be easy. You’re going to feel lonely. There’ll be days where you’ll want to cry over how ridiculously hard adulting is. You’ll find yourself wracking your brain over and over again trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, with it only leaving you in more confusion than ever. The culture shock and adjustment to the real world will be a lot more difficult than you think. You might even experience a bit of an identity crisis. And that’s ok.
Despite it all, please don’t let your 20s go to waste. This next season of your life can be one of the best, but only if you let it be.
If that means having to go on an awkward dinner with a stranger you just met out of sheer loneliness, doing things on your own for a while, taking a break even when you don’t feel like it, doing the complete opposite of what society wants you to do, or changing career paths—it will take some uncomfortable moments to experience the best of post-grad life.
Surround yourself with the right community. Be intentional with the relationships you have. Create a list of goals to keep up with. Make it a regular habit to look for and remind yourself of all the good present. Talk to others in the same season of life. Take it easy on yourself. Don’t make your job your only identity. Give yourself things to look forward to (even if it’s as small as a plan to order takeout from your favorite restaurant).
People will try to tell you what your life should look like after graduation, but that doesn’t mean that’s how it should be. Please don’t take their preconceived notions of “success” to heart. It’s ok to take a bit of a break after graduating, take some time off to travel, work part-time, or go back to school. The future is for you to create and just because everyone else is going down a different path than you doesn’t make what you’re doing any less successful.
I wish I could tell you that there is some sort of secret formula out there to prepare yourself and make the road ahead easier, but there really isn’t. Experiencing all the good of this next chapter looks different for every person, and you’ll learn as you go what that means for you.
You have to lean into the discomfort. Once you do, you’ll start to see the beauty of what post-grad life has to offer.
I promise you, college isn’t the only time where you’ll experience the best years of your life. You might feel like it’s the end of your best years, but it’s only just the beginning.
— a recent graduate living her worst, yet best life