Graduating from a school, college, or
program is supposed to be one of those
“happy” events we celebrate, falling in
the same category of major life transitions
as weddings and births.
You are moving from one place to another,
from one status to another, from one degree
And that’s a good thing, and can be a very
But transitions are stressful, because by
definition they imply major life change.
And major life changes require major
adjustments, which is where the stress
If you’re leaving middle school for high
school, high school for college or work,
college for graduate school or looking for
work…you are moving into uncharted
territory. Uncharted, at least, for you.
It wouldn’t be abnormal at all if you had a
strong desire to stay right where you are
Follow the Trail
Here’s one very important thing for you to
remember: this is actually not uncharted
territory! Others have gone before you and
not only survived, but left the proverbial trail
of bread crumbs for you to follow.
You do not have to figure out how to do well
in high school, college, medical school,
graduate school, or “the real world” all by
yourself. There are books, websites, blogs,
and forums to help you to learn about and
excel in any new arena you enter.
All you have to do is seek them out.
And a secret: Most people who have made
it to the next step are really happy to help
you get there, too. Just ask!
Forge Your Own Path
In addition to making use of all of the
accumulated wisdom of people who have
gone through these transitions before you,
it’s important that you forge your own path.
So maybe you don’t have to re-invent the
wheel, but maybe you can invent a more
efficient one or a more beautiful one.
That’s going to be your contribution to
the world and it’s very, very important.
Trust your gut, follow your instincts, and
don’t be afraid to veer away from the pack
when you have an idea you feel you must
It’s All Yours, Kid!
Let yourself feel all the happiness of
having made it through, all the joy and pride
of achievement that goes with graduation,
and being able to define yourself as having
completed something important.
Let yourself also feel the sadness of endings,
the uncertainty of new beginnings, and the
excitement about what lies ahead that you
It’s all yours, kid! You’ve earned it.