Things I Wish I Knew When I Graduated

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

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I'm doing things just a little different today...a few of my friends/acquaintances are graduating this year, in a couple weeks or less, actually, and it's been making me think back to my own graduation last year. It's amazing how much can change in one year's time - and yet, how much of me is still the same, despite constantly evolving circumstances. It seems like so long ago, but at the same time only a second? I don't know, but I definitely feel very different than I did this time last year...

And it got me thinking about what I've learned during this past year, and what I would tell myself now, if I was graduating again. And I came up with a few things I would like to share, in case you or anyone you know is graduating this year, and you feel like passing this along. I still have so much to learn, but there are a couple things I wish I had known those 12 months ago, and that's what I'd like to share today!

1. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
It's so easy to get wrapped up in the pressure of college and careers, and that big looming thing called "Future" - but remember that you'll never make in there if you don't take care of yourself in the now. 

2. IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL
Friendships, gossip, social grievances and faux pas' that seemed like such a big deal seem, quite frankly, ridiculous now. And I know that's not something you can ever really distance yourself from without physical, chronological space...but still: the sooner you realize that all these little worries are small things in the big picture, the sooner you can breeze past them and more fully enjoy these fleeting moments.

3. FRIENDS ARE (NOT) FOREVER (and it's okay)
It sounds sad, but as I've gone to work full-time and my friends to school full-time, we've not really kept in touch as much as we all promised we would - and it's not because there's a rift between us, or because we ignore each other, or forgot about each other, or anything like that: it's just quite simply that we're in different walks of life. We have friends that are in the same walk that "get" it more readily, and so naturally we start to draw closer to them. People grow apart, especially as you grow up - that's life. The weirdest part? You're going to be really, really okay with it. 

4. ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS
Especially if you're planning to take a year off, or go straight into the workforce, by all means don't become too big for your boots too early on. Take full advantage of these last "childhood" moments, stay up late, do what scares you, speak boldly, go out for breakfast at 1 AM (true story + possibly one of the best nights of my high school life) and get up early to do it all again. You can sleep when you're old. That being said, however...

5. SLEEP IS COOL
I'm not sure if it's just me, but I always felt in high school that it was almost a constant competition to see who had gotten the least sleep, or had the most stressful week, or the hardest homework...etc. We took so much pride in stretching ourselves so thin, it was ridiculous. Listen: sleep is a wonderful thing, and you'll be a much better person when you have it (I sure as heck am). Forget social stigmas about going to bed early, own your early-bird tendencies with pride (and likewise to you, night owls!). Forget being a legend of stamina among your friend group, and instead be a legend of energy - because coffee, as wonderful as it is, can never replace a good night's sleep and a peaceful spirit. And no one's going to care in the long run if you did it on less sleep if the bottom line of your actual work is subpar. 

What would you tell your high-school-senior-self, if you could meet her again today? 

And to anyone graduating in the upcoming weeks, I wish you all the best, whatever you have planned!

8 comments

  1. Ah, yes! Just what I needed. Great reminders! I especially don't want to let go of friendships, but you've given me hope it will be okay.

    SLEEP IS ALWAYS COOL! I don't understand teenagers...LOL :)

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    1. I'm so glad it was helpful! And yes. I'm always down for more sleep, lol! XD

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  2. Haha! Yes, sleep is good. :)

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  3. So true! I'm graduating in a couple weeks, so thanks for the advice. =) Yes to #5 especially! My idea of "staying up late" is pitiful compared to some of my friends', lol.

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    1. Anytime, Katherine! Congratulations to you, friend!

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  4. It's been a year since I graduated too, and I've definitely been thinking back at how much my life has changed since then. Your advise is perfect and definitely what little high-school-senior-me would have needed to hear back then.

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    1. Little high-school-Hannah was probably a lot like little high-school-Carmel, then. ;)

      Thanks for stopping by! <3

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