By Cydni Young
Wow graduate and professional patriots, we have really come so close to the end of the Spring 2023 semester and the end of the 2022-2023 academic year! First and foremost, congratulations for coming this far and coming to the end of another year. All of your hard work, time, effort, and perseverance throughout the year has not gone unnoticed and we ask that you please celebrate yourselves and provide yourself some grace as you crush finals season and end the semester strong. We have made a multitude of memories this year, from the kickoff with our annual Gradstravaganza event, to our Graduate Student Spring Picnic to mark the end of another wonderful year! During this busy yet exciting time of the year, there are so many wonders that are taking place. Many of you are graduating and are preparing to take transformative steps in your lives. Rather than it being a time of uncertainty, this should be a time of thrilling growth and development as you make these decisions - this I know is easier said than done. The world is full of endless possibilities and the great things that you will achieve have no bounds. This is very much true, but sometimes it is necessary to truly take the time to ruminate in your thoughts of these possibilities and understand what they mean for you, and how to approach the pathway of endless, exciting possibilities - this all while taking care of yourself in the process. This may be interesting to navigate - I for one have experienced it first hand even after my undergraduate graduation. With this, hopefully we can help relieve some of this weight with these tips on navigating life after graduation.
For the first tid-bit of advice, Bridges, from Forbes, uses one quote: “Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.”1 What does this mean? Well, perfection is sometimes the aim of our own consciousness and overthinking tendencies, rather than being a necessity of the work at hand. Sometimes the best work you can provide is just getting it done, and that is okay. It serves as a sweet reminder that life isn’t perfect, so be easy on yourself when it comes to your goals and the work that comes with them. Don’t pressure yourself to achieve perfection, it will come as it comes, and know that you will get closer to your own version of perfection with time. This falls in line with the second tip of not being afraid to make mistakes.2 We’re human and are creatures of habit, we strive for perfection, but mistakes make us even more human. We have to make mistakes in order to learn and they only strengthen us for the next endeavor. Think of mistakes as an opportunity for growth, rather than an instance of weakness, they happen to all of us.
The third tip is to cultivate your social skills.3 Watering your social life is something that I feel we are all learning how to navigate again and has become an interesting anomaly since the start of the pandemic. However, it is important to healthily and consciously engage in some form of social outlets when you can. Creating these relationships and forming these connections will help to continue building your social network, especially as you progress through your aspired field. You never know who you may meet and it could be the start of a lifetime connection. So the next time you are at an event, consider building on your connections and saying hi to someone you don't know! Going off of this one, the next is to develop a healthy lifestyle.4 Upon full entry into the workforce, life may become very much regimented and time-restricted, so it is important to set a daily routine in order to mediate your life tasks. This could include setting a day to shop for groceries and cooking healthy meals for yourself, or scheduling a few hours out of your day to do the things you love! The final tip is to never stop learning.5 View the world as a never-ending vessel for growth and absorb all the information and wisdom you receive from all people, things, and experiences you encounter. Continue to expand your mind to new things and adapt them in a way that will help to water your experiences and career aspirations. We will never stop learning, so embrace it and use it to your advantage.
Well, it’s official. It is now time to take the next step in your life. Whether that is your next year in grad school (like myself), or graduating into your aspired career, recognize all you have accomplished to get to this very moment. We may be in the midst of finals season, but keep your eyes on the prize and always remind yourself of what you are working so hard for…and even some well-deserved rest you’ll get afterwards! The world is your oyster, so don’t let it intimidate you, but let it fuel your drive to be the best you you can be. Be easy on yourself, get ready for the ride, and everything will fall into place exactly how it should. I’m wishing you all the best of luck and energy as you complete finals, and we’re rooting for you even beyond your journey as a Mason patriot!
Take care of you :)
Best of Wishes,
1. Bridges, Frances (2018, April 28). The 5 Best Life Tips For College Graduates. Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/francesbridges/2018/04/28/the-5-best-life-tips-for-college-graduates/?sh=38c16e7e5a83