Today, June 18th, 2017, marks exactly a year since I graduated from high school (obviously that photo about is me on graduation day last year, lol). I cannot believe how the time has passed, so fleetingly. I know I’m not the only one who has changed – I see all my friends coming back from college, and it seems that each of us have a sense of sparkle that was not there before. I guess that’s what graduating from twelve years of government-required schooling does to you.
Yesterday, I went to my high school’s graduation, celebrating the class of 2017. I will be honest, the entire day was met with emotions of bittersweetness and nostalgia from my soul as I reflected on the year that has passed so quickly. As I watched kids I’ve known since they were baby freshman walk across the stage, I realized just how much I have grown in the single year since I had taken the same walk. I’ve had so many realizations about life in this short year that have given me a much greater appreciation for what I have, as well as a wider perspective on the world that is around me.
One conclusion I’ve drawn is particularly important for me to reflect on today. I recognize now that, unfortunately, my generation has gotten sucked into the mindset of entitlement. We are entitled to a college education, a successful future, a financially stable life, free of struggle and disappointment. We deserve to have these things, and if we don’t get them, it’s no fault of our own. We are victims of the system, poor souls that have been forgotten by the universe, and that is why we do not have the life that we desire.
Please, if you take anything away from what I am writing today, remember these words: this world owes you absolutely nothing.
You have no money for college? Well then maybe you work for three years, and go when you’re 21, instead of 18. If you want to go to college, you will figure out a way to make it happen.
Drowning in self-pity because you “can’t” do _________ ? Then do yourself a favor and get over it – if you really want to achieve something, you can find the means to be successful.
Afraid of following your dream because the world is a big, scary, black hole of a place? Then ten years from now, the only person you can blame for not pursuing it, is yourself. Not the people who discouraged you, not the people who weren’t supportive – you.
You think your life sucks? Then change it!
At the end of the day, the most humbling reality to accept is that you are in charge of your life, you are responsible for yourself, and you hold the key to your own success, happiness, and well-being. It all starts and ends with the choices you make. Do not put the fate of your future in the hands of the world, between the fingers of self-doubt, fear, and anxiety. Do not let life pass you by wishing that you were somewhere else, doing something else, because this is the only life that you get to make your dreams a reality.
Is is going to be difficult? Yes.
Will you have days that make you want to hide in your bedroom in self-pity? Mhmm.
Is there a possibility that it will take longer than you expect? Duh.
Will you get knocked down a couple of times along the way? Abso-freaking-lutely.
But this is life. This is the beauty of waking up and living and breathing every day – there will be flooding and you might get swept away, but that is why you must be your own life raft and keep pushing forward. Put your head down and go.
Last June, I realized that I had a dream. And then, I realized that I needed to follow it. Have I felt every emotion expressed in this post today? Yes. Depression is a b-word, self-doubt is crippling, and fear is always a lurking culprit – but that is why I decided to write this today. Because I wanted to share all of these things that I have learned, and remind myself that all of this is up to me. I cannot wither in anxiousness and fright – I must keep moving towards the success on my horizon, and that is what I wanted to express to any of you that are reading this. Please, if you have a dream, go after it, and please, do not fear. You can do it. It’s just a matter of you deciding that you can.