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Four Years at the Mount

The Graduate


Alexandra Tyminski
MSM Class of 2015

(7/2015) Many of our readers might remember me as the creative writer for the past three years. The column was so dear to my heart. It was the column that allowed both my writing skills and my creativity to flourish. However, just as transitions are a natural part of life, so was my time as being the creative writer. I am now blessed with the opportunity to write for the graduate column.

I recently graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University this past May with a B.S. in Business Marketing and a minor in Communications. I am a proud member of the Cass of 2015. Graduation was a whirlwind of activities. The weekend came and went so fast, just like my four years at the Mount. The accomplishments that I achieved at the Mount opened my own mind up to the potential that I have as well the opportunities that this world has to offer.

It is now almost exactly two months since I have graduated. The exact date will be July 10th. It is still strange to call myself a Mount Alum. I will be the first to admit that this is probably one of the hardest times for any college graduate no matter what college they attended. Yes, we aren’t ever going to live that close to our best friends again. We won’t see some of our favorite professors on a daily basis. In some regard, we will miss learning in a classroom environment. While we are working in the ‘real world’ and adjusting to this new stage of life, we will often reflect on the fond memories we made on what we consider "the best campus ever."

During these past months, I have found myself reflecting on the transition period for college graduates. Granted, everyone deals with change differently, but no one warns college graduates just how big of a change we are really going to experience. So, I have decided to list a few things that I have learned in these past few transitional weeks. These lessons have been a little guide for me as I slowly begin to navigate this life after college.

Remain Calm

It is often that I find myself, and others that I have spoken with, nervous for the next steps. Will I stay in touch with my friends? Am I really prepared for the real world? Will I find a job soon? Will I like it? When will I have time for all of my hobbies? Will I lose my sense of independence? Well, I can’t really answer any of those questions for anyone. But, I can say that I have had those same questions for myself, and still no answers yet.

It is important and necessary to remain calm during this time. As important as it is to answer these questions, it is even more important to be composed. Finding inner peace during this time can be hard for many college graduates. We are told since we went to college that the objective of college is to find a job. Although that is the main goal, shouldn’t it also be to understand what will make us most happy? What jobs should we learn to shy away from and which ones should we aim for?

While, I am in search for a job myself, I have found that my worrying won’t actually get me a job. Instead, I must remain steadfast in my search and calm. But, I also must remain focused on what will truly make me happy. I’m sure every job will have its ups and downs, but it is better to take time and research places that you could see yourself working at. As for the other stuff, such as friends, hobbies, and independence, well those things will stay with you as long as you work to keep them in your life. I have learned that remaining calm is the best way to stay goal-oriented, grounded, and at peace.

Push through with Perseverance

It can be easy as a college graduate to get discouraged. I know from personal experience as I have often thought about what I am meant to do in this world. It would be easiest to give up and just think that life after college is boring or not as fun as college. False. Life after college can be fantastic, but I am slowly learning that is what you make of it. In college, everything is so easy. There is easy access to friends, food, entertainment, and activities. I never realized how convenient college was until I left. You are not only getting a great education, but you are also getting a lifetime of experiences literally right in your backyard.

By pushing through, we step out of our college comfort zone and learn a whole new definition of perseverance. We are perseverant in a new way. Now, we must seek out new groups, activities, and organizations that interest us on our own. It can be challenging because in some regards, you can feel like a freshman again in search of a whole new life. But, it is through these situations that perseverance can make life after college both nerve-racking and enjoyable all at the same time.

Understand Yourself and Keep Learning

College is a time to develop who you are. It helps you grow into the person you were made to become. However, we can easily that forget that just because we aren’t sitting in a classroom anymore doesn’t mean we can’t learn something. I have seen how even in two months, I have learned more about myself because I was open to learn what life had to teach me. Just because I have graduated college doesn’t mean I can’t develop new hobbies or discover new ideas or opportunities. Recently, I have been in search for a non-profit organization to volunteer for. There is a lot of research that goes into finding the right place to serve, but I know that in helping others, I will also help myself. Volunteering with organizations that help others will not only teach me something, but will also help me better understand who I am and what I love to do.

Enjoy the Little Things

I would consider myself someone who is highly motivated, extremely dedicated, and ready to take on the next challenge. I was always involved in something throughout my college career. I thought that I had a big plan after college and that I would have this goal of living on my own. Guess what? Well, I am back at home and living with my parents again. At first, I was hesitant about this and could only constantly think about how much I will miss my college suit. After these past two months, I am realizing how much I should enjoy the little things. The transitional period is already hard, so why make it harder on yourself?

I found that being home with my family actually made me feel better about going through a tough transition. I enjoy the walks after dinner with my parents and my dog, the long conversations with my mom, the family dinners, seeing my neighbors’ friendly faces, and the familiar community. There really isn’t a better environment for me to be in while adjusting to my new stage of life. A quote on my wall hangs on my to remind me to "Enjoy the little things in life, for someday you will realize they were the big things."

Pull Weeds and Build Positivity

Flowers can only grow if they are given water and sunlight. People can only flourish if they are positive and focused on what is ahead. Transitions are downright hard. Not just the college graduate transition, but any transition. Ask anyone if they have ever had a perfect transition period, and I guarantee you many will admit that change is difficult. Change can be good if we make it good. Although I still am trying to fathom the idea that my time at the Mount is over, I acknowledge that being positive is the only way to be. Instead of dwelling on being done with college, I have been taking that energy and turning it into a constructive way to seek for new opportunities.

Accept Change

This is tough. I have always had a hard time navigating through life’s changes. I won’t make this too long, but this is truly the key to success – accepting change. I can’t say that I am totally alright with it, but I can finally begin to understand that college is over and a different chapter is starting. It is exciting, though. Many people I know are nervous, just as I am. I still am learning everyday different ways to steer through this transition. However, I look towards those who have gone before me. I see how others have made it and are happy they went through their transition periods. It was a time of growth for them. I have observed this and no for myself I understand, we cannot grow unless we are willing to change and accept change. It is for this growth and the great plans ahead that I am willing to be thankful for this hard and confusing transitional time in my own life. And to all my fellow college graduates across our nation, I encourage you to make the best out of this changing time. I applaud you during this period, and I recognize your willingness to keep navigating life with your own personal GPS. For me, my personal GPS includes growth, perseverance, and strength.

Read other articles by Alexandra Tyminski