To you, the recent graduate, first of all – congrats.
Congrats on the culmination of your hard work and grit. To the culmination of all-nighters, finals, group projects, research, papers & tests.
Congrats for earning that degree you’ve been working on for years.
Congrats for distinguishing yourself in a way that takes real dedication.
As you step out as a new alumnus or alumna of your institution, be sure to honor those years. Remember the fun you had, and the people you met. Remember the lessons you learned – those inside and outside of the classroom.
Think about the skills you’ve learned along the way, and all of the times you pushed yourself to accomplish something you weren’t certain you could achieve. Think back to the new-on-campus freshman you, the one who may look a bit different that the you who just walked that stage.
Take some time to really think about all of the ways you’ve grown, and the people who helped you get here. Think about those who pushed you forward, and those who pushed you down. Because really, they both fueled your fire & helped get you where you are.
Take a second or two to just really be proud of yourself. Graduation tends to be a time of celebration & then jumping into the next step – whether that’s a new job, a job search, or a graduate degree. Don’t jump right into the that next step without really thinking about what you’ve accomplished.
Then pack all those lessons on your back and hit the ground running to make the next phase one full of even more lessons learned, more growth, more accomplishments, and more fun. More bills, possibly, but still more fun.
To you, the recent graduate, congrats.