Rambles from the Past: “Graduation and Life After It”

Below is a recount of idling thoughts I scribbled into my notebook in the days leading up to one of my biggest accomplishments: College graduation.
Thirty-six. The daily countdown has officially commenced. In thirty-six days, I will be walking across THAT stage in cap and gown and with that (hopefully) graceful walk, I will end my days as an undergraduate student.
That sentence seems so foreign to me.
College student is the only title I’ve gone by and all I’ve known in these past four years. Even crazier thought: I have been a “student” for the past seventeen years (since kindergarten). And with that Walk, it will be over. That chapter in my “Book of Life” will close and it will be time to start a new one. One that will include joining the real, and somewhat scary, adult world. I will soon have to find a “real” job, start paying my own bills, and ultimately adjust to living life without the safety blanket that is college. I will leave the friends and family I created here for a fresh beginning- one that will hopefully take me to the west coast. I have begun to realize what matters, who matters, and who will realistically still be someone close in my life. I think back on all of the memories-some bad, some good, some so crazy that it leaves me thinking how did I ever do that- and just get consumed with happiness, because I know I didn’t “waste” my college years. I did incredible things, took advantage of wonderful opportunities, and made the best friends I possibly could.
Scary as it may be, it is also a ridiculous exciting time with what seems like endless possibility. Think about it, come graduation, I will be a young, smart girl with a degree and nothing holding me back from starting a new life. I can move across the country, even across the world, and start MY life. One that I will define however I want. While the job-search seems daunting now, I know I will land a great job somewhere and have even started applying out of state. I cannot wait!
Mostly now, the thoughts that fill my head are mainly concerned with my career path. I feel like the first job you have, will greatly define where you will go in life. Yes, there are “career-changers”, but frankly, I don’t want to be one of them. I want to find something I am completely passionate about and make that my job. I want to love what I do, so that I never feel like I’m working. Because, as you’ve probably heard a million times before: “If you love what you do, You’ll never work a day in your life.” That could not be more true. Over my time in college, I have completed five different internships. Some I absolutely LOVED, and some I absolutely did not. That’s what makes doing internships so great, you basically get a first-hand test run of the job without being committed to it. Then you can find what you love and cross out the options you didn’t love. Cause, believe me, when you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you will be miserable five days out of the week for everyday you walk into work- and who wants to live like that?
It’s honestly crazy to think, in a mere thirty-six days I will have an entirely different life from the one I’ve known for the past seventeen years.
If only I could make blogging, traveling, and just experiencing all opportunities in life my full-time, paying job. That would be amazing.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In one of my last senior leadership classes, we discussed Maslow’s Heirarcy of Needs and its application in the workplace as well as in our daily lives. Maslow developed this model to understand what motivates people. One of the questions we had to answer was which two of the five needs are the most prominent for us at the current time. There are five different needs: Self-Actualization, Self-Esteem, Belonging, Safety, and Physiological.
After much thought and reflection, I realized my two most prominent motivational needs at the current time were belonging and love. With graduation right around the corner at that time and so many possibilities at my footsteps, I felt a lot of upheaval in my life due to the unknown after. More than ever, I had been relying on that feeling of belonging in my personal and work life to maintain some balance. Feeling of belonging is important, because one will want to feel that they have a safe and secure place, whether it is in the workplace or in their personal lives, as well as the reassurance that they are wanted. If there is no feeling of belonging, one might feel outcasted or not welcome, which is never good. Second, love has been important to me because one always wants the secure feeling of having someone always there for you, whether in a time of need or just for fun. With that same feeling of upheaval, it was now more than ever, important to me to feel loved and supported by friends and family. Graduation meant leaving the safety-net that is college and going into the real world, which -you could imagine- is a big transition.
It is a very exciting time, but it’s also been a time for me to reflect on my years in college and realize everything I am leaving behind.  To be fully responsible for ones’ self after living a mostly carefree life is truly and utterly scary. It means leaving one frame of mind that is familiar and known for the unknown and strange. But, I guess this is what I and the rest of my graduating class had been preparing for the last four years?