On the Year My Life Was Unlike Anything it Had Ever Been Before:

My Knightline paper plate award.

My social newsfeeds are buzzing with the mixed emotions of the undergraduate class of 2015. Posts about the last minute papers and the final finals emphasize the excitement of closing one chapter and starting the next. Posts about friends that became family, college towns that became home, and the last “go big” parties emphasize the sadness that comes with graduation. It’s bittersweet. If you did it right, that is.

With every Snapchat I open and photo I scroll past on Instagram that’s from one of my friends during senior week I somehow feel overwhelmed with an emotion I can’t identify. I want to reach out to them and tell them not to leave where they are. I want them to soak each and every second up to the point they feel like they are frozen in time because, truly, life will never be the same once the caps are thrown, the last bag is packed, and “the real world” is entered.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a post about me wishing to relive “the glory days” or how I’m stuck in nostalgia-land wishing I was back at school, because I’m not. I didn’t even go to my alumni weekend.

I graduated from SUNY Geneseo on May 17th, 2014. Almost a year ago to date. During this past year, I have experienced life in ways I never have before. To start, for what seems like the first time in my life, I am not a student anymore. My career began in under two months of graduating. I’ve started two different corporate jobs in the industry I strived to be in during college. I wasn’t thrilled with one job but am beyond grateful for the growth I gained from the challenges it offered. And I am just settling in at the second job, humbled by the fact that I feel like I have so much to learn. I’ve moved back to Long Island, trading the majority of my friends and freedoms for a four hour daily commute. I cut the commute in half and moved to an apartment in Jersey City, alone, as the sole killer of whatever bug sometimes decides to terrorize me. I’ve saved a life and threatened my own (and my little brother’s) by trying to drive home from a hospital in an enormous blizzard. I’ve connected, disconnected and reconnected from various people. And most importantly I’ve learned that the world is mine, one way or another, to do whatever I want if I truly want it.

For my friends that are graduating, I guess I am expeiencing an, “If I knew then what I know now” moment. Life is subjective and relative to the individual living it. As I speak for myself and my experience one year out of school, I can honestly say that I’ve spent the last year learning, and continue to learn, about what is truly important to me. I may no longer be a student of an institution, but I certainly am a student of this great Universe.

To the Class of 2015, cherish the moment you are in. Be excited for the opportunities life has to offer. Be smart but take risks. Write down what you want and make it happen. Each moment is a lesson and each moment gives you a choice to either progress forward or stay in the same spot. Move forward and may you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.

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