The Diary of a Graduate

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**Day 1 – (Graduation, 5/7/2016):

Today is the day, the day all of the other Spring 2016 graduates and you have longed for – GRADUATION! Yes! The day that ends one chapter of your lives and prefaces the next. The day that signifies that we have thoroughly and competently completed all of the course work placed before us. The day that proves to the entire world – that yes, yes we are adults and we are ready to actively contribute to this thing we call the “real world”.

As we all sit in a row beneath the crowd in a pitted gymnasium, with our fellow classmates for the last time, we remember just how far we have all come. We begin to reminisce on all of the late night study sessions consumed with cramming, caffeine induced highs, and the stress of procrastination that could cause even the best of us to have a break down. We think about the last few tests that we have taken, the last walks across campus, the teachers we loved and hated, the class we looked forward to and the ones were barely passed, and the faces that turned into friends over the years. In this moment, on this day, you remember exactly way you came to college – to get that paper (both figuratively and literally)!

On Graduation day we bask in the excitement and pride of your family members and friends. We remember the nostalgia of our college days – memories that were made, and the sentiments of memories that are more of a blur (we all know how wild college can get). As the day continues we happily accept and engage in congratulatory gifts and celebrations. This is the day we say good bye to our past, while simultaneously welcoming our future.

So for all of my graduates remember, on this day, YOU CELEBRATE!

**Day 2 – (The day after Graduation, 5/8/2016):

Day 2 is comparable to a hangover, plain and simple.You wake up to remnants of pleasure and joy, yet you are still trying figure out what exactly took place. Of course you can conclude that you conquered what once felt like an unconquerable milestone, however you are still unsure of the details and the acts that took place. On this day you rest assured knowing that the task was completed, and the mission accomplished.

Although the hype has settled and you have returned home, your journey is still alive. All of you dreams and aspirations now finally seem attainable. Your dream home is now within eyesight, and you dream car is almost touchable. The vision for your life no longer seems like a hallucination, but a clear portrait of your future.Your time has come.

During this time your work and time spent at the University of Preparation seems to be the most significant. You relish in accomplishments and feats gained over your time in college.You own the good times and the bad times, because in the end you came out on top. In this moment YOU are the most valuable player, you are untouchable.

Today Graduates, soak it all in, and always remember to DREAM!

**Day 3 – (Post-Graduation, 5/9-5/11/2016):

You did Graduate! That’s right, YOU!

On these days the self-affirmations continue to flow, but just a little slower. You have completely acknowledged and accepted that this the place that you are in (a graduate) and the social location you have acquired, a marketable young adult – who has the the world at his/her feet. You are now a millennial who has acquired a Bachelor’s degree, who just happens to be unemployed and a little unsure about life.

Confusion begins to sink in, because you have been prepping for this moment for so long – yet, you realize you just may not be as prepared as you may have thought. At this point though, you cannot help but to harp on the fact that you CAN indeed do anything, and the possibilities are endless.

On this day graduates, uncertainty may persist but know – THE WORLD IS YOURS.

**Day 4- (The Reality of Graduation, 5/12-5/15/2016):

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to talk about this thing we call LIFE.

At this point all the glamour and radiance that once surrounded this wonderful idea of ‘graduation’ has seemed to subside, although it will shine through once again. Reality begins to kick in, and quite frankly $%^* gets real. You begin to realize just where you stand, that is, an unemployed, slightly intimidated, unsure, young adult. Oh how quickly the tables begin to turn.

You realize that these dreams and aspirations that you have longed for require a little bit more than that all too symbolic piece of paper. You realize that college was literally just the beginning. At this point you do not know really where to go, or what move to make next – sure, you can apply and get a job, you can further your education, you can get internships, and even explore the world. However, there is this cloud of doubt and question that seems to succumb you. The real questions that seem so prevalent are: “What do I want to do?”, “What can I do?”, and “Is it the right move?”

Graduate, today you will worry and that’s OK. Every writer worries as they begin to write their stories.

**Day 5 – (Pending, this story is still being written, 5/16 – ???)

As you begin to sift through these questions you will begin to realize that there is no wrong answer as long as you are honest and pure in your search. There is no illegitimate act of response, regardless of what people may tell you about your dreams and path. This is your story and your journey. Life is not some straight narrow path, but one with various twists and turns. Lucky for you, you can opt to take any one you wish or you can create a new one.

As a recent graduate this is my story, my experiences, and my thoughts. I hope I have in so way comforted and encouraged all graduates and upcoming graduates alike. If you take nothing else away from this story, understand that you are not alone on this journey.

– As Told by HER, Hailey Elise

Be sure to check out our YouTube vlog!

“Thoughtful Thursday: Graduation Series”

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