(Photo by Natalie Baugh)
Embrace the Change
Dealing With Life Post-Grad
By Ashley Gomez
To say that changes are difficult would be an understatement. In retrospect, they are perhaps the most trying times in one’s life. Whether you’re graduating high school or college, there is always an unspoken understanding that things will never be the same after graduation day. Chances are, you’re anxious, yet excited and ready for the inevitable changes. Perhaps the one thing you need to know is that you aren’t alone.
HIGH SCHOOL GRADS:
Graduating high school is a big step, and perhaps the last bit of childhood you’ll actually have. When I graduated high school, I was very nervous even though I knew what was coming next, and I was excited for it. Yes, tears were shed over what my friends and I knew would never be the same again. But, at the same time, we were ready, ready for the challenges that faced us. We were scared, but at the same time confident. It is completely normal to feel these things, and you have to embrace it. The best advice I can give as you go through these changes is to not forget everything you learned while you were in high school. The experiences, the friendships, the relationships with your teachers––don’t forget them. All these things and so much more have shaped you and created you for the next step in your life. This next step is an exciting time. Whether you’re going to college or going straight into the workforce it is an exciting, fresh start. A fresh start you are no doubt ready for. No matter the challenges ahead, you are not alone. This next part will be hard, but with all the new opportunities you have in front of you, these will be pretty exciting times.
Graduating college is unfortunately nothing like graduating high school, to an extent of course. We spend four years (or less) in a program to essentially figure out what the rest of our lives will be like. From day one we’re asked what we want to when we graduate. Most of us had answers, I know I did. We then continue to answer this same question with every new face we meet. Our answer may change, it may not. As college graduates, we take a big step in facing the world with our newfound knowledge and direction. Not unlike our high school counterparts, there is a sense of anxiety with these changes. We have to say goodbye to the place and people we had called home in order for us to find a new one. Some of you will be going into a new job in hopes that your fresh perspective will make you stand out, others will be continuing their education in hopes to obtain their dream job in the end, and some will not know what to do next. No matter which end of the spectrum you fall on there, is something for you. Similar to the advice given above to the high school graduates, the same goes for your college grads; don’t forget the experiences and people who have made the last four years (or less) memorable and vital to your success. Everything you need to succeed is right there in front of you, and no matter where that leads you, you are not alone.
Graduates, don’t be afraid of these changes. It is another chance to start fresh and begin what is no doubt considered the rest of your life, and whatever comes your way you are prepared for it.
This will be a period of trial and change, do not hold yourself back from everything that could be. Take those risks. Whether you’re starting in a new place or going back to a familiar one, the best thing you can do is take those risks and be open to what life has in store for you. Graduation should not be a time of sadness. Rather, it is a time of celebrating you, your accomplishments, and everything that lies ahead for you. Whatever that may be, whether it’s a new job or a new school, embrace the change and everything that comes with it.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
– Joshua 1:9