An Open Letter to the Soon-to-be College Graduate

Spring break is over and you’re already counting down the days until graduation. You’ve already either sent in grad school applications or you’re sitting down filling out millions of job applications. All of your projects and seminars are starting to pile up and you’re just ready for it to all be over with. With all of this going on it’s hard to take a step back, breathe, and take care of yourself. Throughout these next two months you’re going to be more stressed than you’ve probably ever been in your years at college and you’re going need all the help you can get.

Take a break

While we don’t advise on skipping any classes, we do highly suggest taking a break. Go for a walk on campus, in a park, or even in your town or city. Sit down and watch a few episodes on Netfilx. Go get coffee with your friends. Go to the local animal shelter to play with the cats and dogs. If you have a therapist, go and talk to them. Whatever it is, make sure you’re far away from any school work and maybe even your phone. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Make sure that you’re recharged and ready to go once you’re done. Don’t spend too long on this break though or you’ll stress yourself out even more with all of those deadlines.

Make time for friends

When everything begins to pile up, our focus starts to drift to our future plans. We get so caught up in making sure everything is perfect in our resumes and applications that we forget to make time for the  here and now. Go get lunch with friends. Take a Saturday off and just spend the day making memories. Keep those candid photos; they make for great #wcw and birthday shoutouts. Bottom line, spend as much time with your people as possible, because after graduation you’re more than likely to go your separate ways. While we live in a world driven by a constant online presence, nothing can replace having all of your friends within a 5 mile radius of each other.

Mark things off your bucket list

Time’s running out to do EVERYTHING on your bucket list, but try to knock off a few items while you’re still here. Go try a restaurant in your town that you’ve never been to before. Learn a new skill or take on a new hobby. Youtube has a crazy amount of tutorials whether it’s knitting, makeup, cooking, drawing, or even singing, I’ll bet you $10 that a tutorial is there. If you have the means to, travel. Even if it’s just in the US, getting away from both your hometown and college town can be invigorating. Go to big city that you’ve never been to before. Take a last minute study abroad trip or take a mission trip. Being able to learn or help those in need not only looks great on a resume, it helps broaden your horizons. Take those cliché graduation photos, it’ll be something you have to look back on and can get you some major Instagram likes.

Be proud of yourself and your University

No matter how long or short it took you to get your degree, you did it! Whether you took out student loans or paid everything out of pocket, YOU did it! Whether you’re the first one in your family to go to college or the fifth, YOU DID IT. Don’t be afraid to brag on yourself a little bit. You went through numerous all-nighters, around 8 semester’s worth of finals, countless hours spent in the library, and more than enough coffee to last you a lifetime. You’ve possibly gone through heartaches or found “the one”. You’ve made new friendships that you’ll cherish forever. You’ve also gained a shiny degree that you can hang up in your house or office. Although these are all things that you’ve done yourself, you never could have done it without the help of your university. Your SGA (student government association), professors, and president have been there every step of the way to support you in your endeavors. Your SGA may have worked hard to keep the library open for 24/7 during finals week so you can study more. Your professors have had countless office hours where you could go and get extra help. Maybe you had a president that was so involved in the lives of students that everyone saw him as another father figure. There are a few options for you to help give back to your university and show your pride once graduating. You can join an alumni association. This is a great way to stay in the know about events going on such as homecoming and other traditions. With some alumni associations, you can get discounts with national retailers, sporting events, and even concert tickets. Another way to show off your pride is to buy alumni gear! Show off your pride to your family and future coworkers with a “______ University Alumni” shirt, sweatshirt, or car decal. If you went to a smaller school, this is a great opportunity to talk about your experience with others. Who knows, you may even run into other alumni while out and about.

All of this goes to say, while everyone has senioritis and just wants to get out, take the time to make more memories while you’re still here. Don’t go through life wishing it all away. Live for the here and now. Spend these last few months enjoying yourself and the time you have left.

Cheyenne is one of the Content Writers for Tribe Twenty One. She is a recent graduate from Murray State University with a degree in Learning and Behavior Disorder with Elementary Emphasis. When she’s not working her tail off or chasing after her pupper’s, she’s scrolling through social media, putting items into her online cart then clearing the page.

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