Fruits of our labor: Former editor-in-chief reflects, looks ahead

JULIAN WYLLIE | GUEST COLUMNIST | jwyllie@butler.edu

Most memories, while dear to our hearts in the present, may eventually crumble like seed fragments damaged in the dry summer sun. Amazing people, places and times will hopefully stick to our brain cells, but it is nearly impossible to replicate this astounding mix of anxiousness that culminates at graduation.

Tangled beneath the excitement and joy of our peers is an infestation of questions and self-doubt.

We wonder what is next, how we will get to our final destination, and how far we must go to effectively start over. We begin to look over our shoulders and question what our peers are up to, gauging how far or ahead we may be, and this overall sense of competitive fury that drove us to higher places in the past has also become a curse.

In essence, college graduates are similar to speeding bullets in search of a brand new target. It seems easy to stay within one’s respective path when we are on our own, but once we start to notice everything around us, the air becomes thicker and the path more difficult to traverse.

Ignoring Facebook and Instagram posts about job placements and wedding announcements is not an option. It is all in our heads from the start. The truth is staring us right in the face. It is time for all of us to grow up before we are truly ready.

The education machine has already rolled us in from our respective suburbs, cities and towns, packaged us up with knowledge in a respective field, and is just about ready to dump us into the wild with seemingly insurmountable debt and skepticism.

This is why it feels strange to be happy about leaving a place we have called home for so many years. Many students grow and change exponentially in college, stereotypically, because being away from our families for an extended amount of time forces students to gather new perspectives.

It humbles us to know that we have been training to be adults. College is cutthroat in the modern era, but at least the sense of hope was stronger, until now.

The fantastic thing to remember, however, is that you are definitely not alone. Neither am I, neither is she, neither are they. The difference, as with most things, is how one deals with terror in the first place.

For starters, we must separate the pieces of future success. On one hand it takes talent and a profound interest in a craft to master the art or subject. On the other, it takes effort and determination to battle through inevitably difficult times. But there are two more key pieces to success that we cannot overlook: Luck and support.

Some of us are lucky enough to have many connections that will stabilize us at any moment’s notice. It is a sword worth wielding. But the more important portion shifts towards support, and many of us will have to find new people after graduation to encourage our dreams, check us when we are wrong, and hold our hands when we need comfort.

This goes beyond job placements, career paths and earnings statements. I am speaking of things we cannot quantify in our heads alone. It is the heart that must speak to us in these moments.

We must gauge the pulses and the beats, find a new drum, play a couple of chords, then enter the world with our buckets of emotion and offer all that we have to give.

It is strawberry season, panic has begun to rain and pour, but luckily our faith in the future can be restored. We are living under our greatness, and that is nothing short of amazing.

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