In a few weeks I will say goodbye to my two closest friends as they move to opposite ends of the country. One I have known for almost 15 years and the other has been my friend since our first year at Wesleyan. I am saddened to say goodbye to them but so happy and amazed at the wonderful journeys they have ahead of them.
Watching my friends prepare for a new chapter in life has encouraged me to spend a lot of time thinking about my next step after I graduate in May. There are so many possibilities and opportunities that it is hard to choose which path I want to take.
What saddens me most about graduating is that I don’t feel like I am done learning yet. I know that graduating college doesn’t mean that all learning comes to a halt, but there is still so much that I want to know. I spent the past few weeks reading as many non-fiction books I can get my hands on and I have a feeling that this love for learning wont stop anytime soon.
As I consider my next steps in life I am looking for an experience that I can learn from. I have a growing list on my laptop of so many organizations that interest me and have potential opportunities for a future career and I know this list will continue to grow. I’ve found many places that seem like a good ‘fit’ for which I am qualified, but I don’t want to find something ‘comfortable’. I want my next step to be something that challenges me and changes me.
My advice for all students, whether in high school or college is to challenge yourselves. Do things that help you grow, learn, and prepare you for the journeys that you have ahead. Be open to the adventures and possibilities that are out there waiting for you. Many people will tell you that college was the best years of their life, but I can assure you that the best years of your life are yet to come. Your life isn’t over the day your graduate college; it is only beginning.
As you get ready to graduate and begin this new chapter in life, don’t look back on it with sadness because it is over. Instead, look forward with joy knowing that the past few years have helped prepare you for the incredible life you are about to start.
As I part ways with my friends in the next few weeks my heart will fill with love and joy for them as I know that they are about to set out and do wonderful things. They are both so excited for the journeys ahead of them and I couldn’t be happier.
However, these goodbyes are what I hate most about “growing up”. I know we are meant to take different paths in life and wander on our own, but I didn’t know it would happen so soon. I have no doubt in my mind that these two beautiful women will be lifelong friends, and for that I am truly grateful.
Regardless of what journey you or your loved ones are about to embark on in life, look forward with excitement and know that the best is yet to come.