Having just graduated from Lock Haven University in December 2014, there has been a running joke in my family that I will forever be taking classes; their lifelong student as it were. And who can blame them? I’ve been in school since I was five years and 10 months old, with only a year sabbatical between high school and my undergraduate degree, and I still have one year left for my master’s degree.
Moving from school to school, apartment to apartment, staying for a few months with my parents before I had to move on to the next program and new student accommodations has taught me several things:
1. Life doesn’t have pause buttons.
Everyone talks about how excited they are about their lives starting as soon as they graduate. Little tip; life keeps rolling. Enjoy it. Just because you don’t have that house you are building on Pinterest doesn’t mean your life hasn’t started. Those trips to the coffee shop and the inside jokes at your part-time or summer job are all bits of life. Collect them. Keep them to look back on when you have that 9-5 and two screaming kids.
2. You will never know EXACTLY what you want to be when you grow up.
Ever since I understood the concept of having a profession, I wanted to be everything from Sailor Moon to a beautician. That changed about twice every week when I was in grade school. With eleven months left until I can finally enter my chosen profession with the needed degree, I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. And I’m okay with that. Maybe I’ll moonlight on weekends as a Princess Leia look-a-like. Just to keep it interesting.
3. You are always learning.
I guess I get the last laugh when it comes to my family saying I’m a lifelong student. You never stop learning. Never. I just moved to Scotland for my masters degree and have had to learn how to navigate the British world of real estate, renting a bike from those automated bike stands and how to get the plumber to come to the apartment within a decent amount of time so that I have hot water.
Life after graduating is great, minus preparing for graduate school if that is your path, but if you can at least remember these three things, life after school will be a bit more gracious.