Change Is In The Wind, Have You Adjusted Your Sails?

(Do you even have sails?)

I want to talk to you guys about after graduation plans. According to the insanely aggressivelarge font on the graduation countdown board, it’s roughly 34(ish) days to graduation. In high school during the slow crawl to graduation, the air was filled with anxiety and excitement. We are embarking on a new part of life. Is there anything more exciting or equally nausea-inducing than becoming a “pseudo-adult”: old enough to know, but young enough not to care — can I get an amen!?

Work hard, play harder, ammiright?

This is a time of change and adventure, our lives become an actual expedition. We entered college excited and ready to get to the next stage of our lives. Every move after we got into college was expected to be calculated and measured…expected. The reality of it was that we didn’t know what change laid ahead of us. Some of us entered on a strict path and learned quickly what we wanted was very different from what we needed to succeed. Some of us changed majors, others fell in love, some got dealt a hard hand, and others moseyed their way through the flowers.

What’s the general question you’re not supposed to ask a 20-something-year-old college kid? “What are you going to do with your life?”  Which we all know really just means “what are you doing after graduation?” That’s a question that results in a mixed bag of answers. For some it’s not a very exciting time. It’s an anxious time filled with change and confusion and pressure — both emotional and psychological experiences are valid.There is no more ‘safe’. ‘Safe’ is blown out of the water once you get your cap and gown. There are so many options for after graduation plans. Some people choose to get a job, other decide to gain experience in their perspective field, some people are going into grad school and others aren’t sure at all, and that’s ok. I know two girls who run a fashion blog that provides fashion tips to the public (shout out to Stephon Lawrence and Awa Gaye). They started this idea on Geneseo campus and now one is going to graduate school for creative writing, and the other is going to work in fashion in another country for a former employer. Both were united under their love for fashion, and both are doing very different things. Another one of my friends, is applying to various jobs that will give her more experience for when she finally decides to go to graduate school (you’re going to do great things, Arnub). If you asked me 5 days ago what I was doing out of college, I wouldn’t have known. When I found out I had gotten into a graduate school, the first person I called, after I called my family and friends was my high school guidance councilor (shout out to Mr. Lambert for being a solid college advisor, and shout out to Mr. Costa for being my advisor my first two years of high school). Mr. LambertEdgar (I’m out of high school now, first names are cool, remember?) said something to me that sums up the point I’m trying to get across (bare with me). He called me a ‘hustler’, said I was a student he’ll never forget because I ‘always was looking for another way to get to my goal’ (I believe his exact words were ‘hard headed’ and ‘persistent’. Semantics). And that’s just it, these four years have reaffirmed something I have always believed: you need to go for what you want and never let rejection deter you. The world is your oyster, why shouldn’t you have a big piece of it or all of it?

Our Geneseo education has provided us with the knowledge to conquer just about anything the future may hold — combine that with our overall general wit, and savviness and you have a recipe for domination. Our generation is a generation of thinkers who know that just because there is a prescribed method of doing things, doesn’t mean you have to follow that route to get to where you want.

Rumor has it the higher you throw your mortarboard hats in the air, the more jobs you get. TOSS EM!

Rumor has it the higher you throw your mortarboard hats in the air, the more jobs you get. TOSS EM!

So why are some of us still afraid of what’s to come? We shouldn’t be. No matter what path we take, we’re going to get to the next step of our lives. There are no sitcoms about life directly after college, or directly after missing your shot at grad school (because Lorde knows that everyone makes it seem as if there is a window set on the time you should be in school because God forbid you are an older student), at least I don’t think there are…maybe it’s not so much the fear of the “unknown” (cliché) but it’s the fear of change. Change goes as quickly as it comes. Even if you change your path or goal, you’re not quitting. You just found a new thing that ignites your passion. Go out and pursue your dreams! You should be involved in work that you are truly passionate about. There is always a way to reach your goals so there is no reason to give up. Whoever said the true mark of a human being is how they react to defeat is a smart cookie. You will readily be challenged and readily be defeated but you should never let it define you. Define yourself in terms of your goals because you deserve the best. Never sell yourself short. My dear Class of 2014, we have the adventure of a life time ahead of us. We are more prepared than we give ourselves credit for. Call me when you find success with you future endeavors.