28 Apr 2012

{Guest Post} By Ashley de Leon

A Letter to my Soon-To-Be College Graduate Self:

Congratulations, you are almost done! I know it’s a couple months away, but you do have every reason to celebrate. You will be able to do senior streak and you will have the time of your life. You’ll have so much fun that you will spend half of the day passed out, you may or may not puke in the library and you’ll spend the next couple of days trying to figure out how to get the blue paint out of the bathtub, the bed sheets, and the shoes. You will also realize that Crayola is not all that washable. But here’s the kicker- you’ll actually make it to your final, and your professor will be kind enough to pass you.

I know the future may seem like a blurred-dark-abandoned-hell-of-a-rabbit hole and every time someone asks you, “What are your plans after you graduate?” you want to cry, scream and even punch the person in the nose. But here’s one thing I want you to know – come graduation day you will forget all about the stress and live in the moment. You’ll spend the day smiling until your face hurts; you’ll stand on your chair and fist pump; you’ll see a big giant poster of your face- of course it’s the one picture of yourself that you absolutely hate – and your crazy family will be behind it waving and laughing; except grandma, she’s tired.

This is the first time in your life when the future is unknown. You don’t have a job and you will have to move home. It’s kind of embarrassing and annoying, but it’s a relief having mom and padre there to help you. You will spend the summer seeing the world, and to your surprise, you will have not just one, but a few job offers waiting for you when you get back. You’ll finally feel at ease.

You’ll spend the next year adjusting to the “real world,” struggling to find the real meaning of keeping a budget, adopting an earlier bedtime, and putting hundreds of miles on your car commuting to and from work. All of your money will go towards gas and coffee and you’ll have to time your day around rush hour. But this is your only “me” time and you will actually enjoy the long drive.

You’ll figure out what friends are meant to be in your life and the friends that you never thought would leave, will. It will be hard (you can blame Facebook if you want). But you’ll soon accept the fact this isn’t the dorms and you can’t walk three feet and knock on the door. Relationships take nurturing, and it’s your job to (grudgingly) figure out that not all are worth your time, effort and love anymore.

Side note: You’ll also see everyone and their mom get engaged this year. Oh, love (insert annoyed face).

You’ll learn what it’s like to start a business, learn a whole new meaning of patience and exhaustion and you’ll see your hard work come to life. You’ll learn how to work with people old and young. You’ll learn to appreciate the weekends and time away from anything technology related.

Enjoy these next two months, self. Put down the work and grab a drink with your friends, some of them you may never see again. Be silly and uninhibited. Go dancing and drinking until early morning. Go discover new restaurants, museums, parks and happy hours. Don’t spend all of your time worrying about deadlines. You will get the work done, you always do.

This next year will be exhausting, challenging and exciting. You will learn something new every day, whether it’s how to sync your work calendar with your phone or how to pay all of your bills at once. What’s awesome about this year is that the little things excite you and you will appreciate everything and everyone. This will be one of the most adventurous years of your life. Take advantage of it.

So take chances, starting now until forever. Why the f-word not? Let’s be real here, you literally have nothing to lose. The past four years have gone by fast, but this next year will legitimately breeze right past you before you even realize it. So do it. Go out and do something that makes you a tad uncomfortable. You are 22, you can do whatever it is you want to do and you can easily bounce right back. I will promise you one thing: Everything will be ok.

With love and zero regrets,
 When I first read this post by Ashley, I think I may have had this smirk on my face as I was texting to her thinking to myself – she must have written this for me! But no – this is a post that was meant to resonate with all seniors because for the most part we are all in the same place. The way we feel about things- our perceptions and outlook on what’s to come is thrilling, but unknown territory. No one could have captured this more beautifully than Ashley. Let me tell you about my dear friend Ashley though – she graduated in 2011 from Seattle University and is currently working in the music industry, but don’t let that fool you. She is still as spunky, sassy, and silly as ever. Ashley is my advice giver and at times the sister I never had. We both believe that we deserve to have our own reality show filled with our crazy antics and we are well on our way to making that happen. Real talk though – she is lovely and I’m lucky to have a best friend like her in my life that is always willing to celebrate those special milestones with me (ie – finishing a quarter w/ bellinis) or celebrating for no reason at all. 

Posted on April 28, in People


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