Over the next few weeks, millions of seniors will be graduating. Some high school, some college. I graduated from college last weekend (kudos to me, if I may) and I have a bunch of friends who come out this weekend and the one following.
We did it! Made it through those late night study sessions, turning in 10-page papers we just threw together the night before and glancing at our notes that so conveniently happened to fall on the top of folders when the professor asked everyone to clear their desks before the final (*side eye* ya’ll know what I’m talking about).
But with all the excitement comes, for many, a not so exciting question: Now what?
So, what are your plans after graduation? Do you have a job lined up? What are you doing? Are you going to grad school? Have you been applying? Don’t you know it’s tough out there?
Let me add another one…aren’t ya’ll tired of hearing these?
We’re constantly bombarded with “oh my goodness what will you do with your life now that you’re not a student anymore?” questions, and though harmless in nature, they can not only be a bit redundant, but for those who don’t know all the answers, intimidating.
Let’s face it, our society is a NOW society. You gotta keep it pushing, always gotta be hustling and striving to do better. If, even on the outside, it looks like you’re seemingly “moving” to slow, you aren’t doing enough. Inactivity =unproductive. Slow=failure. Say what? You aren’t moving fast paced with the rest of the world? You are #losing
You’re going to get a lot of advice as you enter the “real world” but hold onto this nugget: faster doesn’t mean better. I read a quote by Michelle Obama (kudos to all the graduations she’s speaking at this year!) when she visited an all-girls school in Africa last year. She said:
”See the slowness not as a reason to stop and be impatient, but to keep moving and not get caught up in the immediacy. The only thing that happens in an instant is destruction. Having a career, building a family, everything requires time. Continue to work fiercely and be patient. Don’t let the struggle discourage you because it’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard.”
Our lovely FLOTUS couldn’t have worded it better. Everything in life is a process; it takes time for things to develop. Just because you didn’t have a job lined up when you walked across the stage or you won’t be entering medical school in Fall 2012 with a million other 22-year-old graduates doesn’t mean you won’t EVER. Life is a process and every process takes time. Sure, you don’t want to sit around and let years pass by, but it’s not always about getting and knowing everything now. Just because you aren’t always busy, always on the go, always having this and that to do with barely enough time to think (even now after graduation) doesn’t mean you aren’t accomplishing anything.
A friend of mine gave this analogy: Look at an airplane. On the ground it’s pretty much stationary until take off. You cannot drive an airplane down the road; that’s not its purpose; it was not designed for the ground. Yet, when in flight an airplane is significant for two reasons: 1) it’s thousands of miles above everyone else and 2) it’s moving 10x faster than those below it.
You are an airplane. To those below you make look like you aren’t moving very fast or accomplishing much, remember as people drive it looks like in their cars they’re outpacing the plane. But, as we all know, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, looks will deceive you. The cars are looking up, I’ll repeat it, UP at you my friend.
Don’t get caught up in “the rush” to go somewhere, get that job, move to that city and be that boss. Don’t become distracted by the desire to say “yes, I have this” or “yes, I’ll be doing that” in order to quiet those post-grad questions. The bible says that the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord—the steps. Even if come graduation you aren’t “moving” quickly or at the pace everyone else seems to be, it’s okay. Your steps are ordered and success will come in due time, no matter how slow or fast that may be.