As an educator gradation season is my favorite time of the year. I love to hear and see all of the pomp and circumstance. As a self-proclaimed pro at walking across the stage, there are a few things I wish we would share with our graduates before they make the trip into the "real world".
Life after graduation will only be as good as you make it but when your I'll prepared that can be very difficult. I see many people leave high school and college thinking that the world is full of lollipops and gumdrops & once reality sets in so does depression. I want to share a few things with you to help you cope with and be better prepared for the next phase of your life.
A degree will not solve all of your problems and it will not guarantee you anything. It took me three degrees to get a decent job.
Your life is going to change drastically, find ways to cope with it. Life after college is so different, you are not eating with your friends every day. Spring break is no longer a thing, thirsty Thursday is a no no because work on Friday is real.
Post-graduation depression is real. GO TO THERAPY!!!!!!!
Your friends may have job offers and you don't. It's ok don't stress. One of my closest friends is an engineer she graduated undergrad with a job offer and a 90k salary. The rest of us prepared for graduate school as we weren't so lucky. But I'm here to tell you it worked out for each and every one of us, in God's timing.
Figure out who you are and whose you are before trying to attach people and things to you.
Comparison is the thief of joy, so stop comparing your life to someone else. Remember people only share the highlight reel.
Your net worth is attached to your network. If you hang around 7 millionaires you will be the 8th. If you hang around 7 bums, you'll be the 8th!
Learn how to budget. Seriously this is super important. If you can take a financial literacy class. It is not always about how much you make, it's really about how well you MANAGE.
Be patient, dream jobs take time. It took me 7 years, 84 months, 364 weeks, 2555 days, 61320 hours, 3679320 minutes, and a whole bunch of seconds to get the call that I earned my dream job!!
I'm going to sum this list up in a personal way. I've been to four schools and I have three degrees. Each one taught me something different and prepared me for the life I want to live. When I graduated the first time, I turned down two job offers which both seemed mediocre compared to the offers my friends got. The second time I was working a mediocre job and planning to go back to school. The third time I was in debt, still working the same mediocre job and a little worried about finding something in my field. After three trips across the stage what I've learned is favor ain't fair, God's timing is perfect, you'll never know how great your life is when you're constantly comparing it to others, and your network will get you in more doors than any degree ever will.
Remember graduation season is a time to celebrate your wins, thank your support system and bask in the Glory of God for allowing you to survive college. Life will be different but I'm living proof that later is greater! Congratulations class of 2021. Welcome to the other side.
P.S. check out these books: Lean In for Graduates, Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast Track your Career and Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace.