The Freshman Year of Life

10 Dec

gradpost

As some of you approach graduation, we’d like to warmly congratulate you on making it through your college career and, hopefully, leaving a legacy at your university.

Shortly after graduation, a feeling often arises in the form of this question: Why do I feel so displaced?

It’s easy to understand being displaced physically because you are, quite literally, not a college student on a college campus anymore. It is slightly more difficult to modify your internal dialogue – up there, in your head, you aren’t a college student anymore either.

For most of you, thus far you’ve had the privilege of living in compartments of time measured in years or semesters that have allowed you to benchmark yourself against peers and defined expectations. For the most part these compartments of time run from freshman through senior year. Some of you will elect to do one or two year stints in a post-graduate organization meant to further prepare you for the real world or to send you straight back to another compartment of time: graduate school.

Regardless of the path you take, there will come a day when you reach the end of syllabus-accompanied time. Eventually, it’s just going to be the world out there in front of you.

Your freshman year of life.

Let’s put this in perspective: Assuming the freshman year of high school or college equals one calendar year out of approximately four years, if we were to scale that to your post-compartmentalized, post-graduate life – the freshman year of life adds up to about 15 years (assuming you eat your vegetables).

Why do we point this out?

Because it’s going to take a while for you to figure things out again – just as it did freshman year of high school and freshman year of college.

Freshman year of high school was about coping with the new things growing on your body. In college it was about trying to think for yourself and understanding you can do anything you’re willing to work toward.

Afterward, it’s a whole lot of time for you to do whatever you want. Literally, whatever you want.

It’s time to become an expert at something.

And you can.

But it takes time.

Because this freshman year is going to last a while. Finding the bathroom of life is a lot more difficult than finding the bathroom of your high school – it’s more than a decade of a process.

The most important thing you can do as you bounce around from job to job, passion to passion, desire to desire (because you will) is remember that you’re right where you’re supposed to be.

It’s not going to be comfortable – no good story involves a character that’s comfortable. It’s time for you to put in the hours, hone a talent or skill you want to make a part of every job you take and slowly work your way toward finding jobs and tasks that allow you to use that talent or skill as much as you can.

Next thing you know, you’ll have some skins on the wall, experiences under your belt and more freedom over your work.

Again, it takes time.

The worst thing you can possibly do is sit around and worry about how to get started.

Let us know how we can help.

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