College Graduates of 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

I love college students.
Dear College Graduate, Class of 2016!

Before the circus starts where you will have to rehearse what to say when your family and friends ask you, "What are you doing after college?". Before you have to entertain everyone at your parties and say goodbye to your friends, I wanted to take a minute and acknowledge your accomplishments because you have several, and some last minute encouragement before the hustle really starts.

I know you are scared. You're scared your friendships will change and they will, let them. You're scared you won't make it, you will, put in the effort and let it happen. You're scared you don't know what you want to do with your life, and you won't, and that's okay because you don't need to know all of your life when you have a whole lifetime to figure it out along the way.

I can't believe I was so lucky to be involved at the beginning of your student leadership journey (and for some of you it was on the first day of my career)! Lucky you to be my guinea pig...I'd still slap your eye lashes ;)

I have too many favorite memories. Too many favorite moments. So much life lived when you live and work together. From asking you a million questions, analyzing your personality assessments, watching you navigate classes, relationships, conflict, your first heart break, your first failure, and in the same regard, overcoming a challenge you never thought you could tackle, and landing your next leadership role or job...I've seen you cry, upset, overly joyful, hyper, and have a laughing attack that made me scared you were on something other than sugar. I've yelled at you for disappointing me. You've called me out on my shit for disappointing you. We've been through a challenge or two...and I loved it. All of it. Because it has led to this...

Less frantic 2am phone calls because you know how to deal with crisis. Less conversations where my office couch could be a swimming hole from the tears you sobbed. Less of this and that, because you started to use your experiences and knowledge to create your own path, mentor others, and make your own decisions without the approval of others.

All of a sudden you are interviewing for jobs post college, asking me how to do taxes, and adding me to linkedin instead of snapchat. Even our conversations start shifting. We no longer obsess about your college leadership track or your roommate and we start talking about what you want out of life, if you want a partner and children, and what is your purpose in this world. We slowly shift from supervisor/student leader or mentor/mentee into friends. Oh how nostalgic-sweet that moment is, but mostly sweet.

Mostly sweet because I know you have created a self-worth that is more than your career. You understand college was about what you will do with your education, not just getting a degree.

The world is a better place because of you and what you are and will do. Not many people take the time to be kind, reflect and take action, and are socially aware like you. I have learned more from you than from the books I've read, the music I've listened to, the Ted talks I've watched. I have been your student all along - learning from all the wisdom that illuminates from within you. I will always be in your village, cheering you on or a listening ear when you're struggling with your first year out of college.

So in this minute, don't worry about what happens when you walk across that stage. Take this minute and tell your family thanks, give your best friend a hug, celebrate that you did it. You will never have a moment like this because you will never be who you are right now, in this phase ever again. You may experience the same emotions, but the circumstances will be vastly different.

I love you.
I am proud of you.
You have everything it takes to wholly prosper.

I can't wait to watch you graduate and celebrate you.

Loser.

- Jayme

P.S. If you don't keep in touch, you know I'll hunt yo ass down.

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