Congratulations on such an INCREDIBLE achievement to all of the college graduates out there! This is a pivotal time in your life that will launch you into your future as you make some big decisions about what you will do. I’m sure your parents, friends, family members, teachers, coaches, and mentors are all so proud of you, but I especially hope you are proud of yourself more than anyone else because that’s what counts the most.
You will receive a lot of advice from people who mean well and want the best for you. If you trust their opinions and intentions, much of what they say is worth considering. It’s always good to be open to ideas from others and oftentimes their suggestions can be helpful and wise. But what’s most important is your perspective when making any choices from this point on about your life. Here are my four tips for college graduates.
Everything you do, do for YOU, not for someone else.
It’s so easy to feel pressure from so many people who have all kinds of instructions about what you should do and where you should go after you graduate from college. They might offer important guidance about your career choices and job options and recommend a few people you might want to connect with. People will share their views on where you should live and why those locations would be the best options. Some might push their own expectations as they think they know better than you about what you want to do with your life.
It can be frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming to hear all the voices of the people who are important to you and try to process all the information they continue to offer. But dear graduate, remember that this is your life and you get to choose where you want to go and what you want to do from now on. You might make mistakes along the way, but those are the times you’ll grow the most and learn what you want and find the best route to take.
The decisions you make from now on are yours and yours alone. Of course, inviting counsel into your conversations with people who matter is a very smart thing to do. But ultimately, you have a right to make your own choices because you will be the one to live with them and there’s nothing better than building your life for yourself. Relying on others to make your decisions will lead you toward feeling dependent and insecure, and possibly unhappy and bitter. With your growing independence comes empowerment, confidence, courage, and self-awareness, and those are all necessary strengths you’ll need to live successfully on your own.
Set your self-care habits now and stick with them.
Hopefully, by now, you’ve learned that if you don’t get enough sleep or the right kind of nourishment, you’ll pay the price of being physically exhausted and mentally depleted. Now is the perfect time to develop and implement key self-care habits and practice them regularly to maintain your health and well-being.
Some need more rest and relaxation and breaks in their busy schedules while others might need more self-motivation to try new things and stay active. Creating a pace for your daily life is critical to living it well. Start working on balancing the important aspects of your day now, so you will be able to enjoy it all. Find ways to manage your stress with outlets that work best for you. Some need alone time more than others, while some thrive on fun outings and social events. Discover your creative side if you haven’t already and look into exercise options that you can enjoy. Work on your mindfulness in your decision-making process and take time for quiet contemplation to evaluate your choices regularly and tweak them as you go.
Tune into your body and listen carefully to what you need and set up each day with ample room for those things that relax and restore you, fill you, and fuel you. Learning how to take good care of yourself is an ongoing challenge because your physical and mental health needs will change as you age, as well as your life circumstances. Make sure you always prioritize your self-care habits so you can live your life to the fullest.
Love your people more than material things.
You may have your hopes set high on making good money and buying allthethings that adults can have, like a new car, a real home, and all the high-priced items you want to own. You might dream of traveling and using your hard-earned money to enjoy many new and exciting adventures. It’s great to have goals to go along with your new paychecks as you look forward to building your lifestyle accordingly. It’s important and responsible for you as an adult to also pursue financial security and track your spending as well as decide on savings investments too.
Just remember that money will never buy you relationships and nothing you could do or own in this world will ever take the place of the people you love. Make sure you invest your time and energy in them and don’t get lost in the relentless pursuit of riches and all that comes along with that.
Some of the loneliest people are the wealthiest because they focused solely on building their finances while neglecting the most important gift we’ve been given on this earth: The ability to love and care for each other. Pick your people diligently and choose the ones who are worth your respect and devotion. Then love them well and don’t put them last- they should always and forever come first in your life.
Pursue the answers to all the hard questions about life and death and why you were created.
Right now, you’re probably submerged in all the exciting and stressful details and decisions that come with planning your future after college graduation. There’s a lot on your plate right now, so save this tip for when things settle down. But don’t hold off too long on doing it either because life has a way of going by fast and this is a crucial step toward your own personal growth.
There’s something even more extraordinary in this life we all live with our lifestyles and careers, our family and friends, our activities and interests, and all our accomplishments. While those are all vital aspects of our lives that bring us purpose and fulfillment and deserve our attention, there will come a time when you might start to wonder why we’re all here on this earth and you will long to find a good reason.
Some of you might already have a certain religion or spiritual path that you strongly believe in so perhaps you need to make room in your life to dive deeper into that experience. Others might have been raised a certain way but you haven’t taken the time to figure out if that’s really what you believe. Don’t put off the laborious and quite complicated pursuit of exploring the answers to all the mysterious ways of this world and all its creation- including you.
Dear graduate, your life will be full of so many wonderful moments with incredible accomplishments and beautiful relationships along with a lot of heartache and hardships too. And as you get older, you will start to realize that all you have and hold dear in your life is temporary and will someday end. What happens when you die? This question will gnaw at your mind more and more as you age and start to lose the people you love.
Begin the hard work of searching for answers to all those really hard questions that truly deserve your time and commitment. And as you discover your own revelations, you’ll develop purposeful hope, unconditional peace, and an inner strength that will all be found in what you believe.