Packing Up and Heading Out!

By: Emily

Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks we’ll be saying goodbye to several of our authors as they are graduating from UMD. Please feel free to wish them well on their future endeavors in the comments!

Hey everybody! In the next few weeks I’ll be graduating and heading out into the “real world”. It’s been a truly wonderful experience to work for Career and Internship Services and I am going to miss writing these blog posts. I am also looking forward to the next chapter in my life in Minneapolis. It will be bittersweet to be done with school and I appreciate this time to reflect. And like many of my fellow graduates, I realize I’ve changed and grown and I have become an entirely different person in these last four years.

Here are a few parting pieces of advice for my fellow undergraduate and graduate students as they continue their journey through college:

  • Be kind to your body, mind, and spirit and generally be good to yourself.
  • Call or write to your grandparents.
  • Thank janitors, bus drivers, cashiers, and food service workers.
  • Take the time to taste your food, even when you’re running late. Figure out what makes you feel human and not like a hamster on a wheel, whether it be sipping wine in a bubble bath or skipping a class to go for a walk. Whenever you feel like life is running over you, reclaim your voice and redefine it for yourself.
  • Read the posters in the hallways and try to attend everything that interests you. Try something quirky and new just to test your bravery, like salsa dancing or scuba diving.
  • After a while, you loose your motivation to jump hoops just because it you’ve been told that lead you to future rewards. Try finding meaning in your assignments by making them personally relevant to your life, your interests, or someone you love. It will make everything a lot more intrinsically rewarding while you are doing it.
  • Don’t settle for less than what you want, even though settling is easier, even though it feels safer and requires a lot less courage.
  • Even though you’ll feel the pressure of being pushed through a system, there will be times when you will need to fight that funnel. Education can get in the way of learning and if that happens, you will need to advocate for yourself.
  • Say no and try not to make promises you can’t keep. You’re not superhuman. You’re someone doing the best that you can in the circumstances you are in. And you’ll be much more satisfied with fewer well-done projects then many poorly done, half completed projects that let your teammates down.
  • Be gentle with the prickly people. You don’t know what’s happening in their lives and don’t know how they’ve been hurt. Assume their behavior is due to their circumstance and not to their whole person.
  • Listen to good music that will sustain you.
  • If you have a chance to work in a 39-room, beautiful, mysterious, and possibly haunted mansion, next to the biggest freshwater lake in world, how could you not? Working at Glensheen Historic Estate was one of my favorite parts of my undergraduate years.
  • Admit your mistakes and appreciate the people that have contributed to your successes.

Most importantly, I hope you fall deeply in love with the beautiful city of Duluth. I hope that you become integrated into the Duluth community, know the issues, vote in elections, learn the history, hear the local bands, and hike the trails. I hope you take the time to find your favorite hidden places. Climb uphill and see the city in the Fall during the hawk migration, find a spot near a waterfall to swim in the Summer, find a cozy coffee shop downtown to hunker down in during the winter and go down to the lake and listen to the ice cracking in the Spring. I promise it will make you treasure your time here that much more.

Thank you readers, I wish you the absolute best in your future endeavors!

Read Emily’s other posts

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