Winter graduation is a few short days away. Students are frantically applying to jobs, running to get their caps and gowns, letting out a few tears as they say their final goodbyes to their favorite professors and worrying about what comes next. The past four years have been a whirlwind, and we are finally approaching the end of the chapter for the class of 2019.

There is no right road to take after you graduate from college. It is overwhelming to think of all the approaching opportunities. Some students are graduating with upcoming internships, travel opportunities, graduate schools or full-time job opportunities. Do not feel discouraged if you do not have a set plan after graduation.

The employment rate is higher than it has been with 86% of young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher obtaining a job. An opportunity will come when the time is right. It is most important to know your first job will not be your last or your favorite job. Use your first job to build rapport with those in your target career field and work up from there.

Instead of using the few days left before graduation to stress out about the future, spend time saying a meaningful goodbye to Slippery Rock University and your time here. 

Have that last meal from Boozel, wait in line for the printers in the library one last time, take cheesy pictures around campus with your friends and meet with your professors for some last-minute advice about entering the real world.

It is easy to get lost in the process of graduation, filling out all your forms, ordering your cap and gown and making sure all your credits are complete. It is also easy to lose track of the most important thing during this celebration: your evolution as a student and a person.

Take a few moments to look back and reflect on the progress you have made over the years. All those long nights of chugging espresso shots and fighting off the sleep deprivation have finally paid off. You are soon going to walk across the stage, receive your diploma, and from there it is your decision where you go.

As Nora Ephron said, “Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.”


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