Graduation day is one of the happiest days you will experience as a student. It is the day to celebrate everything that brought you to that point: your support systems, the long nights you endured studying, all your hard work and dedication to your success, and the friendships and connections you made along the way. Your cheeks will be sore from smiling, and surprisingly, the speeches sound way less boring when you are dressed up in your cap and gown.
You’ll see tears streaming down the faces of those you never expected to see cry, and it may be the one day you aren’t annoyed with your family for taking too many pictures. Claim your 15 seconds of fame walking across that stage. Take it all in.
While it is a day full of love, smiles, and celebration, it is also a day that signifies the end of a chapter. The turning of the tassel is shortly followed by packed boxes, difficult goodbyes, and hugs that can never be long enough.
And that is okay.
Graduation is a celebration of a huge accomplishment. This accomplishment means you have arrived at the end of a journey which is purposed with setting you up for success in what comes next.
Take it slow. You don’t have to have everything figured out the minute you graduate. You don’t have to go directly into graduate school the next fall. You don’t have to leave your college town if you aren’t ready. It’s okay to move back in with your family. Do what feels right for you and try your hardest not to compare your path to others’ paths.
Remember to nurture your friendships. According to author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins, friendships are heavily based on proximity and patterns. As you shift into your post-grad lifestyle, it is going to take more effort than before to keep in touch with friends. Be intentional about planning time to see each other or giving each other a call.
Graduating members, congratulations. You have so many rooting for your success.