December 18, 2014

The time has come

I find the moment I crossed the stage at graduation playing back in my head. I am only officially two months out of school, but I feel the sweetest nostalgia. The stressful weeks leading up to graduation are now just a blur, but the moment I heard the Dean announce my name and signal me to walk across the commencement stage will forever live in my memory.

As it was happening, I could not appreciate the magnitude of this moment. Sure, I knew this was the culmination of four years of hard work, but still something inside of me prevented me from taking it all in

Upon graduation you will see just how quickly your life can change. The friends I had in college are now dispersed across the globe doing phenomenal things, and social media and group chats are the most reliable means of touching base. 

Simply put, post-graduation life is scary and thrilling, and the only way to survive is to learn to trust yourself. The problem I had throughout high school and college was not a lack of motivation to succeed, but I only recognized success as an “A” on a paper or acceptance to a competitive program.

When people asked me about my post-graduation plans, I struggled to feign the expectations I put on myself. I felt exposed and vulnerable whenever I had to tell someone about the life I actually wanted. But little by little I eventually started to open up to others about my desire to write professionally, and I was incredibly surprised by the supportive responses I received.

I feared judgment so much, but by the time I started to be honest about myself to others, I found that I got far more help than discouragement. After learning about my aspirations, people in my life starting connecting me to others in my field; forwarding me writing opportunities as well encouraging articles. Needless to say, I could not believe how life was opening up, and my dream of becoming a writer finally started to feel more possible.

There is no cheat sheet to life, and the best solutions will come from no one but yourself. If you accept that, sometimes you will come up with great solutions; you must also accept that other times you won’t. And that is perfectly okay. The most important thing is that you always take something from every experience and build from it.

Only recently would I say that I fully experienced that feeling I was so desperately looking for at graduation. I must admit that it is quite addictive. It is a feeling of personal accomplishment, and no one can take that from you.

Although many of my peers are settling into their new jobs, I am still job hunting. But every day I am writing and working toward the goal of being published, and I can honestly say that is what I want most for myself. The hope of someday working full-time as a writer is what motivates me to do my best work and seize the present moment.

So you’re about the graduate, eh? Honestly, there is nothing to fear at all. You’re young, smart and talented, so I am confident that you will figure out the next steps. All I ask for is when you set your heart on that thing that motivates you more than anything else, tun furiously after it and never be too proud to ask for help along the way.

To learn more about Darion and other students in the Earl Woods Scholarship Program, visit our program website