Weddings aren’t the only defining moments celebrated during this month. Instead of walking down an aisle to exchange rings, many of you will walk down to graduate and exchange several years of hard work for a diploma. You may even be the first in your family, and for others, this may not be your first time walking down the graduation aisle. Regardless, the worries and fears are all the same and can be summed up into one question: Now what? You have a degree, but figuring out what to do with it may be harder for some, especially if you were an English major like me. Those student loans aren’t going to pay off themselves. As if answering the “Now what?” question weren’t enough, you may even be caught up in the details of planning your graduation celebration.
My advice to you is that instead of focusing on the uncertainties, and even trivialities, of the future, focus on the now. I wouldn’t judge you if, at this point, you need to close your eyes and take a deep breath. Stop thinking about planning every minute of your family’s visit and making sure everything runs smoothly. And definitely, stop causing yourself to almost have a panic attack by thinking about life after school, or whether you have a job lined up or not. Think about all of that hard work that led up to this moment: the all-nighters spent to finish a paper you decided not to write until the last minute, because you were too busy binge-watching your favorite shows, or the overwhelming amounts of reading that filled your weekends. And how about not having enough time to do everything? You aren’t Hermione Granger—there’s no time-turner, even though you may have wished for one. Did your time at college meet your expectations? Perhaps not. Did you get straight-As? Maybe not, but that’s ok. What matters now is that you recognize this: you did it, you made it. Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it…Ok, but not too much. Now you need to think about all of those people that supported you throughout your journey: your family, your friends, your mentors, maybe even a special someone, most of whom will be there as you walk down the graduation aisle and accept your diploma. You won’t remember the anxiety job hunting brings. Five, ten, even fifty years from now, it’s this moment that you’ll remember: your mom crying with tears of pride, and flipping that tassel to the other side of your face. You’ll remember throwing that cap in the air, watching it soar high into the sky with the others. And the only thought about the future that you should be having is this one:
Que sera, sera.
Dvorah Lewis earns her Master in Library and Information Science from UCLA on June 11 , 2016.