If you graduated from high school, college, or grad school congratulations! All your hard work has paid off! I know how exactly how you feel. Once I graduated from college it was like a big weight had lifted off my shoulders. So you might be asking yourself, “ where is your usual recipe of the week?” Well, it may not be the typical recipe you’re use to, but I have a recipe none the less.
This past weekend marks my one year college graduation. During that time, it was surreal to think that the past 18 years of my life I have spent it in academia and that what I have learned in the past four years will fuel me to land a dream job in the field of my studies. Looking back at my last semester of my senior year in college I wish I had advice or forshadowing on what is to come of my last semester of school and after graduating. So to change things up, below is a letter I wrote to my college senior self. For those who have graduated or about to graduate you may relate to my struggles. Maybe pick up an advice or two along the way. Still trying to figure out where is the recipe? I promise it’s in this post.
Dear Senior College Me,
Well, you have reached your last semester of college. Congratuations. You have five months left on this journey and it will be an incredible one. I know by now, you are pressured to revise your resume, apply to as many jobs as possible, prepare for job interviews, and work on your comprehensive papers for senior seminar. Those last papers are essentially your exit tickets out to earning your diploma, so there’s no pressure. Try not to freak out while you think about this big checklist, because you’ll finish and be prepared if you work hard. Your trusty colorful post-it notes will be one of your guiding tools for the semester. I know how much you love using them to organize your lists, and honestly you probably always will. On second thought, might as well splurge on the value pack as you’re reading this.
Even though it is your last semester of classes, you need to stay focused, even when you’re sick of hearing guest speakers in your classes saying the age old statement over and over again, “Please introduce yourself and say what you want to do after graduating.” You’ll hear it so many times, but I’m telling you now, don’t feel pressured to know exactly what you want to do. It’s completely fine to have a general path you may want to take after graduating. Just because your friends and peers want to go in a certain direction doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Instead, have many outlets to consider. The ideas you’ll come up, just trust those crazy ideas. Like the crazy idea of having Taco Thursdays with your friends, definitely trust that idea. Just accept that plan now and thank me later.
Knowing you, you have held on to that one post-it your RA let you write on as a goal for the entire school year. Something to set your sights on as a reminder. I’m sure you wrote something around the lines of “to have a full-time job by the end of the school year or a job you’ll love.” I’m telling you this now, if you don’t find a job you love right away don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you failed in the job search, it just means that your time at this job will prepare you for that dream job. In times of struggle, your mind may wander and question if there is even a job out there that you’ll love.You can keep questioning if there is a job you’ll fall head over heels for, or you can figure out a way to create your own career your passionate about. That’s why you really should listen to me when I tell you (me?) to trust your crazy ideas. These crazy ideas will make you think twice. You’re going to say to yourself, “I don’t know how to do this or how to do that”, but stop doubting yourself. Instead, work hard and make your ideas happen. Let’s just call one of your crazy ideas blogging, I know you’re thinking your writing isn’t your strong point, but you will be amaze of what you’ll write about, the impact and the people you’ll meet along the way.
We all want to plan out our lives to a degree and I (future you?) sure have, but in some cases there isn’t a recipe for success to follow. If there was, everyone would want a copy of it. Everyone wants to arrange an outline of where they want to be in life. Going from point A to point B in a flash (point A- point B), but what I want you to concentrate on is the dash in between point A and B. The dash may not seem important, but that dash represents your journey. No matter if you decide to work in a corporate office or go along with your crazy ideas after college, just embrace the journey. Enjoy the ups and down, the opportunities that come along your way, and most importantly don’t forget to inspire others. Maybe it’s through writing or maybe working in a cubical. Inspire others in a positive light and inspire them to trust their crazy ideas as much as you do.
Your Future Self
Until the next recipe…