Updated: Sep 24, 2022
Here you are. You’ve made it. The elusive senior year where all your career questions are answered and all that’s left to do is apply for that perfect job you’ve finally found. That would definitely be nice, wouldn’t it? While some of you may feel prepared for life after this year, whether that’s as a December or a May Graduate, some of you may be scared of what the future holds, and where you are supposed to go after your time here at Berry. COVID-19 threw a wrench into your plans, whether that was sending you home where you didn’t feel like you could learn to the best of your ability, or bringing sickness to the people that you love. Regardless of the forks in the road that you have experienced, know that you have a purpose in this world. Whether that’s joining the heroes on the frontlines saving lives, joining a business that you believe in, continuing on to grad school to further flesh out your career desires, etc., that’s up to you. Retired television journalist and author Tom Brokaw once said “You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” To change the world. That is a lofty goal, and for some of you, it may seem too lofty, too unattainable. You read about these people in history who have changed the course of the world, and maybe you wonder if you could ever achieve something so great. I think the most important thing to note is that changing the world does not have to be this lofty, unattainable goal. It can start with being kind to your neighbor, working well with co-workers at a company that prides itself on service, or taking the skills you’ve acquired with your degree and bringing it into whatever you decide to pursue. The world needs you. It needs your drive and your voice, to evolve and change as it marches on. Embrace your mistakes and your successes, and understand that no man or woman has ever made it far without a plethora of both of these. These past few years have been some of the hardest years to pursue a good education and you’re so close. It can feel lonely and frustrating at times, but know that you have a community that is wanting a bright future for you. Find the people that make it worthwhile and hold onto them, because they will get you through even the hardest of times. We are social creatures by nature, so find a way to plug into your community, whether that’s at a workplace, a church, a book club, etc. Growing your interpersonal skills in professional and personal environments will not only bring you a more rounded life but also a better understanding of how you fit and contribute to your environment. Make the best of every moment you have left. Whether college has brought thriving educational value and long-lasting relationships with your peers or hardships that have shaped and changed you as an individual, your time here is waning and before you know it, the Berry bubble will pop and your life will change. Take what will come in stride and always pursue excellence and your passion in the outside world. This time may be coming to an end, but the future holds endless possibilities. That can be really scary, and sometimes you may feel indecision and doubt creep up. Remember that you have a purpose here and after Berry, if only you have the desire to reach for it. Seniors, you can do this.
Photo by Brant Sanderlin