An Open Letter to College Students on Graduation Day

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You did it. Take a deep breath.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined”-Henry David Thoreau

As you walk across the stage in your over-flowing graduation gown, ribbons hanging loosely around your neck to grab that diploma (or rather empty tube because your diploma will actually be mailed to you), there are a few things I’d like to say to you.

It comes from one college graduate to another.

Congratulations! You have just accomplished something amazing. Four or five years of college requires perseverance, obedience, hard-work, dedication and faith.

I am proud of you.

Since I’ve been done with college for several years now, I’d like to offer some advice and insight on life after college.

1) There is no perfect job.

Don’t try and seek it, for it doesn’t exist. The likelihood of you landing that perfect job right from college is rare. You might snag one that you tolerate, but no job is ever perfect. Don’t look for the perfect job because you will be disappointed.  I’m not saying that you won’t find something that you’re passionate about and enjoy, I’m just saying that there will be things about it that may bother you.

2) Don’t be afraid to jump.

Don’t be scared to jump into something that scares you. Push yourself to do something more, something that scares you, something that challenges you. Don’t take the easy route. Take the the road less traveled for it’ll take you so much farther in life.

3) Travel with your Career

Choose the career that allows you to travel. Trust me, sitting behind a desk all day is not the career for you. Get out. Travel the world. You would be blessed to be able to have a career that allows you to do this.

4) Don’t be afraid to Fail

Failing is a part of the journey. We will all fail at some point in our life, but what’s important is how we handle that failure. One must learn from that failure and grow from it, not allow it to dictate their future.

5) Work harder than your peers

If you work harder than you peers, you will be more satisfied with you work. It’ll come easier and with it opportunity and income. Don’t be average.

6) Ask for help when needed

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions allow others to help you grow and learn. When you don’t ask for help, mistakes happen. Swallow your pride.

7) More than likely, you’re in debt.

Be responsible when it comes to handling your debt. Instead of spending lots of money on material things, focus on paying off your debt. This will allow you to enjoy life later and have more money in the bank.

8) Don’t compromise who you are for a career

Maintain your values. Don’t lose sight of who you are because of a company’s values. If you’re not comfortable in your career because of things the company is doing, then get out. Life is too short to lose yourself in the  values of a company that you don’t believe in. Stay true to yourself.

9) Do what you love.

If you’re not doing something that you love, then get out before too much time is is put forth towards it. You may not have the perfect job, but if you love what you’re doing, then continue doing it.

10) Take no shit from anyone, but don’t think you’re entitled to anything either

Of course you will have superiors in your career along the way, but don’t get taken advantage of or walked across. You’ve earned that degree and career, so you should be respected. If you’re not being treated well, go somewhere where you will be treated well. Also, do not go into a career feeling like you’re owed anything just because you have a degree or two. You still have to prove yourself- don’t forget that.

11) Money isn’t everything

I learned this very early in my life. My father worked a lot, thus we didn’t see him much. Sure, he made pretty good money, but he also missed out on a lot. If you’re working way too much and not being able to enjoy life, I pray that you realize it before you miss out on too much. Money is nice to have, but it’s the experiences and things in life that you miss out on because of working too much that mean the most.

12) Have fun

No matter where you are headed, make sure that you have fun along the way. Never stop having fun. Laugh as much as possible and make some amazing memories.

Life is too short to live a mediocre life. We were not put on this Earth to be average.

On that note, my wish for you is to be spontaneous and adventurous. Don’t be afraid to fail and always learn from your mistakes. Love fearlessly. Always be learning. Treat others how you’d like to be treated. And most importantly, don’t forget who you are or where you came from.

Your journey has just begun.

Good luck, and Godspeed.

“All our dreams can come true..if we have the courage to pursue them” -Walt Disney

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