To The Class Of 2017: This Is What You Need To Know About ‘Finding Yourself’
The time has come. The days are winding down and you’ve done all you can to ensure that you’ve arrived at this point. And so, the age-old question stands: “Where do I go from here?”
I’m writing to you because I graduated from college five years ago and I still ask myself the same question of “Where do I go from here?”
This is not to alarm you. I’ve had many experiences, gone many places, and encountered many obstacles, but alas, I still have those thoughts of Where am I going? and What I am doing?
To be completely honest, I wish I had figured it out sooner. I wish I had figured it out while I was still in college, in the pre-reality of what I later came to know as my life.
Because now that I am here, I am doing what I am doing while simultaneously figuring out what I am actually going to do. And there is nothing more frustrating than not liking your current situation. After all, who actually enjoys being uncomfortable in their life?
As I write this, I’m speaking mostly to high school seniors who are planning on heading to school in the fall; but it can still apply to college seniors as well.
In hindsight, when I look back at my time in college, I often used the excuse of “I’ll figure it out later.” I told myself, “Just enjoy college while it lasts and deal with the difficult stuff later.”
Well, it’s later and I still haven’t quite figured it out.
So, I tell you with the utmost conviction: college is an imperative time to figure out what you really love, what you are passionate about, what makes you want to fight for something that you truly believe in.
College is not just for partying, making friends, and having fun. It’s for you. It’s for discovering who you are and who you want to be. It’s about gaining knowledge of subjects that you take interest in. It’s about finding and developing your skills.
If you went to college just to have fun, then you likely just flushed thousands upon thousands of dollars down the toilet for absolutely no reason.
For some people, four years is absolutely not enough time to have yourself completely figured out, but it’s surely a start.
The sooner you begin to explore and begin to understand what you want in a career, in a relationship, and in life in general, the sooner you can get to work on actually getting there.
It’s true that you are never too old to pursue your dreams, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start working towards them as soon as humanly possible.
Life is too short to waste your time on things that you don’t love.
So, Graduating Class of 2017, I’m telling you this: If you haven’t yet thought about what you are passionate about or what makes your heart race, then start thinking about it now. Before the bills pile up, before you’ve become jaded, before you’ve become bitter. Take this fire you have and run with it.
Originally published at thoughtcatalog.com on May 12, 2017.