When Graduations End
I was raised in a family and culture where education meant success. If you did well in school, the rest of your life would fall into place. Well, I've gotten a lot of higher education throughout the past couple of decades with three degrees to my name (BS, PharmD, MS). And while I've held jobs as I progressed through my coursework, and staffed as part of my residency program, the graduation days have finally ended and the training wheels are off. At 28 years old, I officially have entered the next step of my career.
What's funny about it is that I feel like I'm learning the same #adulting struggles now as those just finishing their undergraduate degrees. Except now I'm in much more debt and haven't been able to hold a saving's account because of school. Coming out of it and transitioning to the workforce, I wonder if it was worth it. At times I feel really behind after all of those long days, sleep lost, and money left on the table. I'm in my late 20's and just learning about 401k's, taxable income, and health insurance (despite being a healthcare professional). But at least I know how to cook?
The truth is, without all of the experiences I had before today I wouldn't be exploring New York City with someone I love, with the potential for amazing new experiences ahead of us. Yes, I've spent a lot of my life studying and struggling, but I learned so much along the way. I learned a lot about life, what I want from it, and how to get it. I've gained independence and perspective that had I rushed out into the real world a decade earlier I may not have in the same way.
What I've learned is that when the graduation days end, life is just beginning. There is still so much more to learn and I choose to see it as a fun challenge. If you're in a similar boat where you are coming into the workforce feeling behind, I encourage you to take on the challenge with a positive perspective. Take value in where you came from, the mistakes you made, and accomplishments you earned. Use them to take on the unknown future and make it what you want.