Dear Class of 2021…

Posted on June 8, 2021

The year 2020-2021 has been a trying time for everyone, but especially for students. At the onset of Covid-19, many young people were stripped of their social outlets, thrust into virtual classes, and forced to comply with regulations largely for the benefit of the older generations. That is a heavy burden to place on those amid their most formative years. However, the strife of this past year makes this upcoming occasion doubly special: graduation. Graduation is a time to not only acknowledge how far you have come, but celebrate how far you will go. Thus, to help this year’s class of graduates along their way, we have compiled a list of some helpful tips.

Dear Class of 2021...

Get out of your comfort zone.

Very little personal growth occurs within your comfort zone, thus it is imperative to continuously challenge yourself. Anjali Kumar, TedTalk speaker, says, “whenever possible, get as uncomfortable as possible— spend time with people you deeply disagree with, read books about experiences you will never have, travel to places where you don’t speak the language, and take jobs in industries you’ve never worked in before. And if you feel yourself resisting, try again. Those experiences will help you build deep empathy, and we could all use more of that.”

Pursue your passions.

“So often we let careers pick us instead of vice-versa. Know what makes your heart sing and pursue that passion unapologetically! If you don't have passions of your own, dedicate yourself to helping others achieve theirs and your entire life will be a gift to others and to yourself.” -Interior Motions team member. 

Think about how you want to be remembered. 

Many people have big dreams for their future, but do not know where to start. A unique way to construct your life with purpose is to start at the end and then work your way backwards. Imagine yourself as an 80-year-old (if that feels too difficult, think of yourself at 20, 25, 30, etc.). How do you want others to perceive you at that point? What do you want to have accomplished by then? Then, begin to reverse-engineer your life in order to achieve those goals. 

Do not compare yourself to others. 

Around every corner, there will be opportunities to compare yourself to others. However, when we interact with other people, we often see only a fragment of their life, not the complete picture. Comparing your life to another person’s fragment will inevitably lead to feelings of inferiority or superiority––both of which inhibit connection. Instead, accept your journey for what it is and refrain from passing judgement on another person’s journey. 

Do not be afraid to ask for help.

It is not “weak” to admit that you are struggling or that you need a favor. More often than not, people are willing to help if only you reach out. Create an expansive network of trustworthy people and ask them questions, observe their behaviors, and be bold. The answer will always be “no” if you never ask. 

Never stop learning. 

Everyone in the world knows something you do not know. You can acquire a wealth of knowledge simply by maintaining an open mind and a willingness to listen.

Enjoy every minute.

The days go by slowly, but the years go by quickly. Make sure to stop and enjoy everything life has to offer––both the good and the bad.

Whether the next phase of your life is in a college dorm room or behind the desk of your first adult job, these insights will help guide you on your way to success.

However, perhaps the most telling indicator of one’s future success is the ability to cope with hardships and adapt to changes. Considering the fact that the class of 2021 survived schooling amid a pandemic and adapted to change on a global scale, I would like to conclude by saying… 

Dear class of 2021, you’re going to be just fine.

Also Read: Returning to the Office after Covid-19.

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