It just hit me yesterday that I am GRADUATING! This is an exciting yet daunting thought. For all of this year I have contemplated and stressed over what to do after school. There is no safety net of more school, no security of a full time job, and no guarantee that I will even get an interview any time soon. I have probably cleared about 1/5 of my tea draw downing cup after cup of tea trying to figure out what path to take. But as graduation and the true near grows closer, I find that I am more relaxed and excited than anything else. Sure everyone left, right and centre has been asking me what I am going to do with my life. For the longest time I didn’t have an answer and I could see the disappointed look on some people’s faces and to some extent, some unimpressed faces. People just do not realize how much pressure graduating university students experience. I didn’t know either until this last year. Our parents are constantly asking what we are going to do about our futures; It’s time for their ROI to start showing as education is concluding; Friends who have jobs constantly want to know what you are doing; Profs are looking to see that their students are successful and have a job before school is out; Bosses and employers are all trying to help out. A lot of people are involved and it can feel like you are in a pressure cooker all alone ready to be cooked and eaten by the scary monster called “REALITY”.
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
More than anything, I have learned this year that I know who I am, no one else does (though there are always a couple of your friends and mentors who will keep you grounded). All throughout life I always felt that I had to achieve things above everyone else. Everyone can see that I had ambition beyond belief (and I still do), and that added unknown stress into my life as I kept trying to chase after something that would eventually become unattainable. I still want to be one of the few female CEOs in the world, but now not for money and glory, but because I honestly believe the world needs more female CEOs and more examples of incredible leaders. Realizations like that made me see that if I listened to every one else, my life will become unfocused and I will lose sight of myself, values and true aspirations. As one of my profs said to me back in my second year, “take my word as a grain of salt.”
- Extensive support network: I am probably one of the most independent person you will ever meet, but that does not mean I do everything alone. I love figuring things out on my own and a lot of times it takes a lot for me to ask for help. However, if I did not have the friends, mentors and family that I do now, I know I would not be anywhere close to where I am today. I need mentors to bounce ideas off of, to help with job hunting, to tell it to me as it is and to keep my head screwed on straight. My friends are awesome amazing people who stick with me no matter how bad my temper gets, or how excitable get when I go to the ballet. They allow me to enjoy life and to see the world differently. We laugh, cry and live together. Most importantly my family loves me for who I am and they support me through every step and decision I make even though they might not always agree. They want to see me successful and being the “little princess” of the family they do not want to see me fall flat on my face. For that, I am grateful and so blessed to have the support that I do.
- Finding my passion: Throughout life I have always been a passionate person wanting to do everything, but it wasn’t until university that I found different ways to “decompress” and “destress” from the pressures of life and university. Too many times, I have heard that people live in the library and live for academics. Trust me, you will go insane and life will have no purpose or meaning for you any more.
- TEA: Every day I need a cuppa. I am probably a bigger addict to tea than most people to whatever they are addicted to. Tea has kept me going and my friends know when I do not have tea (I am cranky and non-functioning without it). Tea has also given me a gateway to the world. I talk about it online, to potential employers and I am even starting a company with tea as the foundation.
There are so many things to look forward to in life. I am in no rush to have my next years all planned out. I am excited to figure things out along the way and to see where life takes me. Ultimately, I cannot wait for all the new people I will meet, the world that I will see and all the challenges I will conquer.