Sunday, May 4, 2014

For Today's Graduate...Here's My Two Cents

Today, another round of Berea College students become Berea College Alumni. This one's for you.

1. YEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU MADE IT!!!
-I know sometimes it can seem like Graduation Day is just an oasis off in the distance that you will never really quite reach, especially if you received any letters or emails from Financial Aid or Academic Services in the last 3-4 weeks. And if you did receive one of those letters, believe me, I know you were probably ready to burn Lincoln Hall down to the ground. I know. But now, look at you- standing tall on your graduation day with no record of arson to follow you across the stage. Congratulations!
2. I am incredibly proud of you. Incredibly.
-You are graduating from college.You're automatically amazing. That's just what happens. You go Glenn CoCo.
3. The world awaits you. Take that with a grain of salt...and a lime.
-Yes, you graduated and that makes you automatically amazing, but sometimes, the world is not prepared for all of the awesome that is about to hit them, and we are not always so prepared for the world's unpreparedness for our awesome. Take that with a grain of salt and a lime, but be careful with that because...

4. Your metabolism is probably about to slow down substantially, if it hasn't already.
-Mhmmm... Eating pizza and ice cream for lunch and then cheeseburgers and ice cream for dinner will really start to catch up with you when you're not walking all over campus to go to class or hang out with your friends. Also, alcohol may take the place of milk, juice, and water at some point in your life. This is one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time, but trust me...reality will still await you when you sober up, and so will your jeans that no longer fit. Heeeey legging and basketball shorts! You know that time you saw an alumni at homecoming and thought, "Dang, when did they pick up that weight?!" Well, let me just tell happens. And there is no outfit perfect homecoming outfit you can pick out that will cover it up. And that's okay. Just know you've been warned.
4. If you don't have a job lined up, it's totally okay.
- No, really. It's okay. If you end up having to have a serving or retail job for a little bit, that's quite alright. And if you have to live at home for a little bit, that's quite alright too. Find a job, save money, figure it out and learn quickly to get acquainted with #5.
5. "I don't know" will save you from so many conversations you are not trying to have.
-Get acquainted with this phrase, but don't get comfortable with it. You just graduated from college and you thought that you were going to have this great internship/study/job/plan upon doing so. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. And if someone ask you what's next and you are still trying to figure it out, it's okay to say "I don't know" or "I'm still figuring it out". No one will look at you like, "What an idiot. Who graduates from college and is still figuring it out?" and if they do look at you like that, you just look at them like...

 Most of the time when people ask that, it's just because they think they are supposed to- think you want them to ask that. When in reality, they have no idea how much anxiety and angst that creates every time you have to make up a "grand plan answer". Be okay with saying "I don't know", but don't get comfortable with it. Take this time post-graduation to really sit down and figure out what you want and how you want to get it and allow yourself to listen and be open to whatever plans the universe might have for you. There are a lot of different ways to get to a lot of different places. Rarely does anyone take a straight and narrow to achieve their dreams these days...embrace it.
6. Get to know your fellow alumni.
-Seriously folks...your alumni network is about to so clutch right now, you don't even know! So, here's the thing: alumni networking works. If there is somewhere you are trying to get in life, there is a 90% chance that there is someone in your alumni network who has been there or is currently there. We love our fellow alumni. We can identify with one another. We may not have anything else in the world to talk about but the fact that we went to the same college, and that's okay, because that is enough. Get familiar.
7.  Don't stop learning.
-There is a lot to learn about folks. Pick up a new hobby or interest. Read some books. If you don't like reading, watch some documentaries or some YouTube (productive YouTube'ing, not the kind that makes you feel the need to clear out your browsing history because you never knew kittens could be so adorably entertaining). Go out to random places and meet people. Say "hi". Introduce yourself. Start a conversation. Follow interesting people on social media and not just the super celebrities who will never follow you back. Read a blog. Write a blog. Travel. Pray/Meditate. Look for inspiration and a lesson in everything... EVERYTHING. Go to the movies by yourself. Ask questions. Seek answers. Use google, often. Graduation does not signify the end of your learning, it actually marks the beginning of it...because the things you are about to learn now, hmmmm...let's just say, there ain't no class, degree, or award for that.

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