What All Out Of Place Winter Graduates Should Remember At Commencement

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Dear soon-to-be graduate,

Here you are, approaching the end of your entire undergraduate career, ready to take on the world.

The excitement, the whirlwind of opportunities and the pride are all things that one would typically associate with graduating from college.

Unless you’re graduating a semester early, that is.

While all of the above things are true, as the end of the semester gets closer and closer, none of your expectations seem like a reality anymore.

Somewhere inside of yourself, you feel isolated.

You feel muted, like all of your hard work, blood, sweat and literal tears have been a waste.

You’ve created a handful of countdowns you keep to yourself, crossing days off one by one.

You’ve even gone as far as trying to figure out what will happen when you finish the last day of class.

Will you walk off campus like it's just another ordinary day?

You’re asking yourself if you made a mistake, if you tried too hard to rush through college and if you’re missing out on the opportunities that some of your friends may have this spring.

After all, they don’t seem worried about graduating on time, so why were you so focused on finishing so soon?

The answer? Drive, motivation and your desire to make a change.

All of those other factors making you anxious are just white noise.

I will be the first to admit that so far, graduating early has made me feel the most alone I have ever felt in my young life.

But, it has also empowered me.

It has made me realize what I want and has paved the way for the start of my career.

Graduating early is not something that is designed for the faint of heart.

It requires dedication, grit (if you haven’t seen the TED talk about grit, watch it now) and an idea of where you see yourself in the future.

Less than a month away from graduation, maybe all of those gritty qualities you've developed over the last four years have seemed to fade away.

They're somewhere deep inside, tucked behind the nervousness and panic of taking on the real world completely on your own.

Before you give into the panic, however, take a moment to remember you've made it this far by harnessing those badass qualities.

Those characteristics are there, and they make up most of what makes you, you.

Plus, they’re all pretty incredible characteristics to have.

Don't be afraid to be gritty.

Don't be afraid to be tough.

Don't be afraid to be ahead of the curve.

If you hold on to these traits while entering the working world, you just might find yourself experiencing the joys of success in your career later on.

So, maybe right now you’re reading this and things are starting to make sense, like why you cried on your way home last night for absolutely no reason, or why you went a little crazy during an all-nighter.

Or maybe you’re still confused, thinking that this chick is insane and doesn’t know a thing about me or my life.

Though either could be true, I know one thing for sure: There is something special about the graduate graduating from college a semester early.

Sure, the job market isn’t as flooded with résumés.

And yes, your wallet and future loan payments are thanking you from further down the street where your first home sits.

But what’s most important is you deserve all the congratulations in the world, even though you may not be hearing it.

So, winter 2015 graduates, congratulations!

Your hard work is not being as overlooked as you think. Go out there and tackle the world.

No commencement until May? No problem! Throw yourself a graduation of your own.

Can’t find any memorabilia that says, “Class of 2015?"

Screw that, anyway. No one likes that sh*t.

Go buy yourself something you’ll actually use. After all, you’re an adult now.

You should all be incredibly proud of yourselves. You did it.

XOXO,

A fellow winter 2015 grad