I'm literally in tears as I write this. I had my graduation party last night, and it finally hit me... I am finished with school. For years I waited for this- I worked for this. And, now, 12 years, countless exams, too many late nights, and many, many ups and downs later, I am finally done with school.
WHAT AM I GONNA DO? WHAT DO I WANNA BE? WHO AM I? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?
Okay, breathe. Graduating is scary- lets be real. I mean, our entire lives as we know them are about to come to an abrupt halt. We have expectations of what our futures will be, but they're still scary. So, here are some tips that you can use to make the trip into early adulthood an enjoyable one.
1. Set Short term goals
Yes. I'm telling you to set short term, easy to achieve goals. This will get you excited for the near future, and can set you up for your long-term future. Set goals that you're excited about- like saving enough money for a nice computer, or for that new iPhone you wanted, or something bigger- like a car. If you're like me-moving away for school, set goals you can keep to motivate yourself to get things done for your big move, like saving for new furniture. Don't be afraid to have many things you want to do in the near future.
Ahhh. You're finally in that bittersweet state of being done with school. Whether you're going to college, taking a year off, or heading straight into the workforce, your future plans may scare you a little. That's okay. Change often strikes fear, and that's okay. One tip I can share with you is this- take time for yourself. You will never have a more perfect time to discover what you want. For me, I'm looking forward to traveling. I love the idea of going to a far off land and finding myself. I may find myself on the beach in SoCal, or in a quaint coffee shop in London, or maybe I'll find myself walking along the green hills of Ireland, maybe under the warmth of the African sky. Or, maybe, I'll find myself in all of these places, all for different reasons. Wherever you go- make sure to find yourself.
3. Set Long Term Goals
Yes, we already covered setting short term goals. But, it is equally important to set long term goals. One thing I like to do is set up a five, ten, and 15 year lineup for myself. I come up with 5 things I want to have completed in 5 years, 5 more things I want to have completed in 10 years, and another 5 things I want to have done in 15 years. This helps me stay vision-focused, and it makes it easier for me to see what I want in the next chapter of my life. The only thing with this mindset, is you have to make sure you allow yourself room to change and grow. Unexpected things always come up, so learn to expect them, and you can tackle anything.
4. Figure Out what YOU want
We all have voices in our ears that tell us what we want. They try to tell us which profession to follow, which school to go to. A lot of times, students who choose not to go to college are afraid to tell their family and friends out of fear of what they'll say. But, I will admit, college is not for everyone. Neither is jumping into the work force, or taking a gap year. There is no 'right' way to do life, I feel. What works for me, might not work for you. What works for you, might not work for me. While advice is always welcome, sometimes loved ones can go a little overboard. I know they mean well, but it's as if they aren't completely happy with their decisions, and want to guard you from them. Maybe they want you to make more money, or they don't want you to have to work as hard. For whatever reason, people are quick to say what they want you to do and don't do. So, take this time and figure out what you'd like. What interests are you going to pursue? What career do you want? What are you passionate about? This is the time when you can find out who you are, and what you want.
No matter what you decide to do with this next chapter in your life, I hope you find where you're supposed to go, what your supposed to do, and who you're supposed to be. And no matter what, I hope you end up happy.