For The Graduating College/Grad Student

“Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

You’re graduating! Wo-hoo!

You’re probably going through a thousand different emotions.  You dread the most common question everyone asks, “So, what’s next for you?” There is a part of you that’s excited and the other part is extremely terrified about the future. You’re excited, you’re nervous, but most importantly, you’re determined to finish strong. Transitions are always difficult. However, these moments are the perfect opportunities for growth. In the midst of the chaos, I need you to remember that you have accomplished quite a lot. College is difficult and graduate school is even a bit more insane. Regardless of the degree you’re seeking to complete, you must remember that you made it. Many began this journey but not everyone saw it to completion. You’re at the end of the road and you should be very proud of yourself.

So what happens next? You face your fears and embrace the next season of your life.

Here are a few things to help you transition into the next phase of your life:

  1. This Is Your Journey: Everyone is going to have an opinion on what your next steps should be. At the end of the day, it is ultimately your choice. For the first time in my life, I have no idea where I’m going to be in the next three months once my current lease is up. It’s uncomfortable but it is so necessary to be in this position. I’ve received great advice and I have received really bad advice that has nothing to do with what I want in life. I am learning to trust God more and believe everything will fall into place at the right time. As Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t be trapped by dogma.” Do not allow multiple voices to cloud your judgement. This is your journey. Not your parent’s, your significant other’s nor your friend’s. Although these people mean well for you, it is critical that you make a decision for yourself. Have courage to soar and explore your dreams.
  2. Apply For That Job Anyways: Job hunting is one of the most stressful things about graduating. I am stuck in the wave of job applications, interviews and waiting for an answer. To be quite honest, this is an unpleasant place to be in. Most of the jobs require 3-5 years of experience which I do not have because I’ve been in school the past 6 years. Although job applications can be intimidating, you have worked hard for this moment. I believe as long as you’re willing to learn and grow in your field, you will make an excellent candidate. So apply for that job! You’re more qualified than you think.
  3. Rejection Is A Perfect Opportunity For Growth: Rejection is a part of life. Don’t let a “No” slow you down. Use this opportunity to self-reflect. Assess how you conducted yourself during the application process or the interview. Determine the areas you can improve on and focus on developing those areas. The most successful people are those who learn through failure!
  4. Keep Going: Don’t ever lose hope. Even when you don’t know where to go, allow your passions to lead you. The world can be cold but don’t let that dim your light. You were made for greatness! Turn your magic on and keep pushing forward.
  5. Experiment and Explore: I love to experiment and try new things. Successful people don’t become successful from sitting in their comfort zone. Develop a habit of exploring new things. Travel and go see the world for yourself. Try food from a different culture. Meet and converse with people who are different from you. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable!
  6. The Journey Is The Treasure: There is no destination in life. So cliché, but life is about the journey. It is about growing, learning and becoming the best version of yourself daily. No job will give you the deepest satisfaction, no amount of money in your bank account will fill the void in your heart. You have to be content where you are. Even in this confusing stage of your life. Choose to enjoy every moment and learn daily. If you have a growth mentality, you will soar higher than your wildest dreams.

I hope these tips inspire and encourage you. We are in this together. I believe in your GREATNESS!

Much love,

Deborah Queen

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