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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Jana FritzJana Fritz (’15 Communication), Presidential Fellow in the OPCD 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was college graduation! The bittersweet day has finally come and gone. A wonderful four years of friendships, memories, and opportunities are behind you.  Although this chapter is closing, what you’ve accomplished thus far will bring about a bunch of new and exciting unwritten chapters (*cue Natasha Bedingfield*).  From someone who is officially “one year out” from Mother, So Dear, I’d like to share some thoughts on the oftentimes bewildering idea of uncertainty that comes with graduation.

  • I am one of many future-oriented, driven Deacs. Like many others, I sometimes feel like I constantly need to worry about the next step. A rookie mistake I made during my first year of young professionalism was convincing myself that I needed to have it all figured out — now. The pressure we tend to put on ourselves to “get it together” can backfire and ultimately constrain us from great potential.
  • This frustration, so common amongst us “planners”, became evident to a wise mentor of mine. So, she told me this: appreciate the uncertainty of youth while it still exists. One day, you’re going to wake up having it all figured out and you’ll only be able to wish you had the unknown that faces twenty-somethings.
  • Here’s how I’ve put that advice to practice:
    • Maintain your orientation to achieve, that’s what got you here today. But, reframe it a bit. Look at a “missed opportunity” as a holding place for another door that’s about to open somewhere else.
    • If you feel like something or someone is a roadblock to your goals, consider it a chance to grow, personally and professionally, and keep moving on to the next challenge.
    • No matter the person’s position or importance, if someone comes into your life, cultivate a relationship with them. A few years down the road, they might support you with that next career shift or important life decision.

Most importantly, remember that although you’re leaving the comfort of Wake Forest University, it will never leave you!

Category: Professional Development

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