5 days out of the week I am surrounded by millennials. I’ve said before how fun I think this group is (I may be partially biased because I am a millennial), but the more I’m around millennials the more I just love them. Yes, this group has their problems. We all know they can lack promptness, don’t always view the world realistically, and can be obsessed with technology. However, I believe EVERY generation has its own problems, so it’s best not to discriminate against millennials and just write them off because like it or not, THEY are the future. They are full of big dreams with big hearts, believe in savoring the moment, and have courage that most of the world dreams of.
3 of my student workers are graduating this weekend, just a few days away. I haven’t know them for very long, but each of them are amazing and unique and I know they will do amazing things. Graduating is bittersweet, and I’ve heard them comment more than once lately that they’re “not ready to grow up”. While I agree that growing up can be scary and hard, it’s also super rewarding and can be an awesome experience. So girls, this blog is for you!
You learn A LOT about yourself growing up. I know, you’ve all been in college for the past few years, and 13-15 years of school before that before then and you’re probably thinking your tired of learning and just need a break. Don’t worry, learning about yourself is fun and it’s a kind of learning that never really stops. Take time to learn the things that bring you comfort, the things that help you rest, and the things that energize you. Learn how you relate to others so that you can communicate more effectively with them, and learn about your own life’s mission and how YOU were specifically made to change the world.
Experiences make for good teachers. Coming from being a perfectionist, I absolutely hate failure, but I’ve learned that sometimes failing has been the best thing for me. I’ve needed the failure experiences to show me how to get back up again and soar. Failure helps us grow and show us what we need in order to succeed. But cherish those great experiences too. Take note of the ones that make your heart spark joy and your face light up – that’s how you know you’re doing what you’re passionate about.
Do what you have to do. There’s nothing wrong with doing what you have to do to make it in the world, like starting out in a low paying job doing what you don’t necessarily like to do, but find purpose in the mundane and know how it will help you meet your goals along the way. Sometimes you have to do the hard stuff to get to do what you really love. Other times you take a job not knowing if you’ll like it or not, and that ends up being something you love.
Keep your mind and heart open. Have a plan, have goals, but be open to new things. Try a new food, travel to a new place, talk to someone different from your usual crowd. Listen to music you don’t usually listen to, read a book from a different opinion than your own, and go to an art gallery. The world is full of so many amazing, beautiful cultures and people that most people won’t even recognize because they don’t step out of their comfort zone into something different. Chances are you will find something that you love, something that you connect deeply to that you would have never known otherwise if you hadn’t taken that stuff.
Finally, don’t rush it. Maybe you think the past four years took forever to go by, or maybe you feel like they flew by. Either way, I promise time seems to “speed up” after you graduate. There will be times where you feel empty, lonely, and like you don’t know what you’re doing in life and you think “I wish this stage would hurry up and get over with already.” I know the thoughts will come, but when it does, tell it to “STOP IT” because you really don’t want to fly through this part. This is normal and these are the times you need to cherish the most because you will learn the most during this time. Cherish every memory made, even the mundane, and stay focused. Stay true to your beliefs – whatever yours may be. There is beauty in every moment and I hope you won’t take this time for granted because once it’s gone you can never get it back.
I’m not going to include your names, but you 3 know who you are. Know it was an honor working with you and getting to know each of you. As my “first” students, you will always hold a very special place in my heart, and I wish you the very best in life. Live your life, dream big, and work hard. You’re gonna do great! – TS