The Real World: Graduation

By on March 5, 2008

In an effort to keep myself from pulling out all of my hair in the midst of pre-graduation stress, I have decided to write this column for The Chronicle.

Since its first appearance in last weeks paper I have been compiling questions that I have about life after graduation as well as collecting questions from my fellow soon-to-be graduates. I am in the process of finding answers to these questions while keeping my self-inflicted hair loss at a minimum.

Because I have so many questions about “the real world,” I feel that it’s best to address one or two at a time, not to overwhelm myself or you.

Before I address these questions, I want to build up my fellow seniors with some encouraging words because heading into life after graduation may be a challenge. Growing up my parents always did a good job of boosting my confidence even when discussing areas of my life that needed improvement (I got my share of bad midterm grades in middle school math). They did this by pointing out something that I was doing well, then citing the area that needed improvement and brainstorming ideas of how to do so with me and finishing off with some other positive observation.

Even though this is not middle school math we’re talking about, I think that giving you some positive input before springing a bunch of information on you will help prevent you and I from getting too stressed.

For a moment I would like you to consider fingerprints. We each have ten unique fingerprints. Out of all of the people in the entire world no one will have your exact set of fingerprints. This fingerprint fact is commonly known, but how often do we actually take the time to consider it? I challenge you to do just that as you read this article. Think about it: the fact that we each have a unique set of fingerprints comes down to something incredible. It’s not just your fingerprints that are unique. We are all completely and utterly unique. No one can be you and there is no one who can do the thing that you were created to do exactly the way that you can do it.

With this in mind, let’s consider life beyond college. Up to this point you have already done so many things that no one else could do the way that you have done them, possibly without even realizing that you have done so. Now that you will be stepping out into the “real world” it’s important that you never lose sight of the fact that you are unique. Your gift to yourself and to the world is simply being who you were created to be. Foster your uniqueness. Find something that you love to do. It can be a hobby or interest, say writing or traveling or stamp collecting, and do your best to keep at it.

Yet, you may be saying, “I have no time for that hobby/interest now as a student so how will I ever have time for that once I get a real job?” To which I say, “Make time!” This thing that you love to do is a part of what makes you, you. If you can’t make time for the things you love then what are you making time for? If you wind up spending your time doing something that someone else wants you to do and never do what you want to do then you cannot become the best version of yourself and that doesn’t serve anyone.

With that said, next week will be when I start asking and answering some questions. Some of the answers will not seem all that challenging, while others may force you and I to step out of our comfort zones.

Either way, know that you are not alone. I am going through the preparation of graduation in real time with you. Until then, keep it unique.


About Nicole Daddona