May the 4th Be With You

May the 4th Be With You

May 4, 2015

shadeIt’s finally happening….you’re graduating!  These last 3-5 years have been filled with joy, hatred, exhaustion, confusion, anxiety, stress, and more.  But it’s here….and now you’re leaving this place that has been your “home.”  You’re a ball of mixed emotions–or for some, no emotion at all.

You might have some plans for after graduation–that great job, graduate school, Peace Corps, etc.–or you might not have any plans and are waiting on the perfect opportunity to present itself.  I’m here to tell you that I know exactly what you’re going through and how you may feel.  I couldn’t wait to get out of college (graduated early even) and go to work.  I enjoyed my classes, made some great friends that are still my friends after all these years, and was looking forward to my future.  But there are some things that looking back on my years I wish I would have done differently…..

I wish I would have been more involved in and on campus.    The thing I regret most, and what I’ve learned from being at Truman, is that it’s important to get involved.  Be that through sororities or fraternities, professional organizations, or organizations for fun,  Truman has lots of organizations for you and I hope that at some point in your college career you got involved in an area you’re passionate about or at least interested in.

I wish I would have formed a stronger bond to my university.  I didn’t go to Truman, rather I went to a Graduation1large state school where I was a number.  But, I had small class sizes to complement those large ones–my degree program graduated about 40 people a year so I was a person, too.  However, I’m not that invested in what happens at my state school.  Maybe it was because it never felt like a place where I belonged–maybe you felt that way about Truman.  But there’s something to be said when a group of current students and alumni fight to save a building on campus because of their experiences and what it means to the university.  You might have a strong connection to a professor in your major or really enjoyed one of your professors in one of those LSP requirements….and admit it, you get excited when that professor still calls you by the right name—all these years later.  I didn’t have this experience and wish I did.

I wish I would have learned what I was passionate about earlier and utilized the resources available to me.  As a young adult I thought I knew how to do everything–no one could nor was anyone going to tell me what to do….but looking back on it, I should have learned to ask for help.  Whether that was going to a professor’s office hours to ask for assistance or asking a classmate for clarification I thought that doing so admitted weakness.  It’s a valuable skill as you age–learning when to seek advice and ask for help.  Try it sometime.

6a010536573dde970b0191022a610e970c-800wiWhat I did learn through trial and error is that I needed to enjoy my college experience because, while it does prepare you for adulthood, you can never get these years back.  You’re standing at the door step of your future—what are you reflecting on from this experience and what are you looking forward to?