A Pep Talk For Graduating Seniors, From A College Sophomore

A Pep Talk For Graduating Seniors, From A College Sophomore

Because I was feeling retrospective, I thought someone might need to hear some part of it.

Laura Martel

I read my graduation speech from high school, and here's my updated version:

You are stronger than you think. You will survive every single unthinkable thing until the very last. Life is going to be difficult, but this is the part where you find out who you are. When we look back at our lives, we will see that none of it was random. Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it. The real world does not begin when you can legally drive, when you walk across this stage, when you have your first legal drink, or when you start your first "real" job. You have been in the real world your entire life. Free yourself from your past mistakes by forgiving yourself for what you've done or gone through.

Every day is another chance to start over. Biologically speaking, in 7 years' time your body will be made of completely different cells than you are today, so do not let your past or your fear of future failures limit you. In living you will get hurt, you will hurt others, and you will hurt yourself. But that's okay. Love, friendship, experiences, and ideas can all hurt us, but they hurt because they matter.

I've learned that no matter what happens if today is the worst day then tomorrow will be better.

I've learned that some of the things we fear most in life wind up becoming our biggest successes. Take a class even though you know nothing about the subject matter. Take yourself out to a movie once in a while, or go out to eat at that new restaurant by yourself. Open up to someone you just met. Trust someone new even after you have been irreparably broken. Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

I hope you do one thing every day that terrifies you, and I hope that you stub your toe on life more times than you can count. The world is going to judge you no matter what you do, so lead your life for you - not your parents, not your grandma, not your best friend, not your coach. No one else has to face your reflection the way you do. Live your life so that you become the person you needed when you were younger.

Being happy is a very personal thing that has nothing to do with anyone else. Keep your sense of humor alive and well, even if it means laughing at yourself. Things that you think are huge deals now, really will not matter in a week or a month or a year.

Honesty is everything. Be honest with those around you about what you need and want, absolutely. But first, be honest with yourself. Pushing yourself beyond your limits only leaves you exhausted in the end. Ignoring parts of yourself because they are less desirable only hurts you. You deserve to be loved wholly, by yourself and others, and the first step towards this end goal is honesty.

John Green puts it best: "You are helpful, and you are loved, and you are forgiven, and you are not alone." Do not dwell on the past and fail to enjoy today and everything that is to come but do not forget where you came from either. Never will there be a time there is no one you can go to, for every single thing you experience is part of the human experience. No matter how unique you are, take comfort in the fact that you just aren't possibly that unique to have a brand new problem, situation, etc. Reach out when you need it, or you will only hold yourself back. I believe in you. You have been given so much to get you started, now it is your turn to decide where you go from here.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only was she the person to build Smashbox Cosmetics into what it is today, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sixth grade was the year that you were allowed to participate in a school sport. This was what my friends and I had all been waiting for since we started middle school. I had already made the cheer team with my friends, but I had to wait to start that in the winter since we cheered for basketball. I really wanted to have some sort of activity in the fall, but I did not know what to do. Somehow, I decided to run cross country. Not really sure how I decided on a sport where it was quite literally just running. A few of my friends were doing it as well, so I knew it was going to be fun.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Working Out Every Day During Quarantine Helps Me Feel A Sense Of Control

Physical activity helps my mental health in a world that feels uncertain.

Before the pandemic, I exercised a handful of times a week at best. In quarantine, I've been exercising every single day. I don't want this article to be another spiel about how exercise "changed my life," and all the other cliches that health gurus use to convince others to work out more. Rather, I want to reveal that exercise is a tool that works for me because it boosts my mental health when I feel like the world is spiraling out of control.

Keep Reading... Show less

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a roller coaster is an extreme understatement. Who knew that this decade was going to start off like THIS!? Not me, not you, and not that sweet old lady who lives down the street. One thing is certain though — while the world may be a mess right now, you can still fuel your body with food that keeps you happy and healthy. Thankfully, as we are all spending more time inside, you can get healthy snacks delivered straight to your front door! Amazon has never been more convenient (and tasty).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments