The day has finally come! It is graduation day and you’re getting ready to go to the ceremony. You arrive at the ceremony and it all hits you. Four years of lengthy assignments and sleepless nights has finally come to an end – but is it really? In this blog, I offer you advice and tell you that this, in fact, is not the end, but the start of something new, something scary, and something that I can guarantee you are not ready for.
The Misconception of “Free Time”
In high school when I had free time, I was able to do whatever I wanted. Looking back, life in high school was fairly scheduled. You wake up, go to school, come home, do homework and by 5 p.m. you are pretty much free to do as you please. College is the exact opposite. During the week, less time is spent in class and the rest you are expected to complete assignments and readings on your own on your own time. One thing I’ve learned from this freedom is to manage time wisely. The schedule I followed in high school didn’t really prepare me for the kind of schedule I would have in college. While you take on less classes in college, you should still give it all the attention it deserves. We have to remember that in the end, it is our time being used up to study and complete assignments. We also have work and a social life to balance. Make time for yourself as well. While it is great that you put all your time into school, it is also easy to forget about taking care of yourself. It’s easy to fall into bad habits, but make sure you are not wasting your time when you can be doing something productive. Part of growing up is learning how to handle yourself and the things around you all at once. Take the time to teach yourself time management. There is only one you, make the best of it. I can promise you that having your time under control is the first step to success.
The World is Bigger Than High School
Starting from a young age, we are told that one of life’s biggest accomplishments is getting the opportunity to graduate from high school. While this is true, it is important to remember that life does not end with graduation. Living in such a socially connected world will make you feel like your recent break up with your significant other is the end of the world. I’m telling you right here, right now, that there are plenty of fish in the sea. That exam you failed or that friend you are no longer friends with will not matter in college. The one thing that matters in college is yourself and your own happiness and peace. If you take one piece of advice from this, I want you to go into college, or any experience for that matter, with an open mind. An open mind opens doors, opportunities, friendships, relationships, and so much more. Don’t be afraid of taking big risks. Live your life the way you want to.
Advocacy is Your Best Friend
I had a hard time my sophomore year in high school. I took chemistry honors with one of the most influential teachers. I was always asked to come talk to him during brunch, lunch, and sometimes after school. I could tell that everytime I had a conversation with him, something made him irritated. After a long time, I finally understood the reason he was so passionate about his student’s successes. He wanted all of his students to know how to advocate for themselves. The day I learned about advocating for myself was the day my life changed. From that day forward, I learned to put myself and my goals first. I was ready to take on whatever obstacle came my way to reach my goal. Learning how to help myself was a rollercoaster ride, but had I not learned about advocacy, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Advocacy, in my opinion, is a theme of life. Learning how to get what you want by asking for help and taking the first initiative is essential to many aspects of your life. Never be afraid to ask for help because I can assure you there is someone out there who wants to help, they’re just waiting for you to walk in through the door.
Remember, make the most of what you have. You have a long journey ahead of you and I know all the hard work and energy put into achieving your goals will pay off. Graduation is only the beginning. Keep an open mind and Carpe Diem! You only live today once, don’t waste it!
Andy is currently majoring in Journalism/Mass Communication at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA. He loves to watch Netflix, go on adventures with friends and family, and make people laugh. Without those people, he would not be the person he is today.