The past six years of my life have been dedicated to academics and growth based on education combined with leadership. I have found my self-confidence grow as I became more knowledgeable about the world and my place within it. I have led student organizations, attended conferences, found success with my writing, and discovered my strength in public speaking. I became passionate about advocacy, and learned ways in which I could use my skills to make a difference. This is what I gained with my education because it was a strong liberal arts education with a focus on creating women leaders.
Now, I am a graduate. I was proud to be the 2015 commencement student speaker at Cedar Crest College, and when I walked across the stage, I knew it was symbolic for walking into a new phase in my life. Graduation is exhilarating, but also an emotional time. One journey is ending, and this is bittersweet because while endings lead to beginnings, life will never be the same. A few days later, the realization of that loss is prevalent, and fellow graduates begin new phases of their life, or post panicked comments on Facebook because they do not know where they are going.
I am in the job search mode as many of my friends are, but I know my college provided me with the skills I need to be successful. That, combined with my confidence and determination, will lead me to a rewarding life. I know I may start in a position that is not what I hoped, but I also know I may very well find the position that will be rewarding and lead to a career I will be happy with. This is the roller coaster of post-graduation. It is the next phase, which requires just as much work and dedication as the previous educational phase, if not more. It is the time for graduates to prove themselves.
While this can be a time of anxiety and fear, it can also be an exciting adventure and another learning experience in life. For those fellow graduates out there, those who are searching for their place in the career world, do not forget your worth. Remember that you worked hard for your degree/s and you should embrace this new challenge just as you embraced the challenges of college. Be proud of your accomplishments, and bravely put yourself out there. Be confident and explore what this new path has to offer!