'So, What Are You Doing After Graduation...?'

'So, What Are You Doing After Graduation...?'

To everyone who asks me, "what are you doing after you graduate?"

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"What are you going to do after graduation?"

Boy, don't I wish I knew.

All I know is that I will walk across the stage, get my (expensive) piece of paper, maybe shotgun a beer in celebration of surviving these tedious yet priceless years and hug my cat. After graduation, I'll probably update my Facebook profile saying "Graduated from James Madison University." I'll clean out my room and apartment 2511 in Harrisonburg along with my three roommates. We'll probably have to paint our chalkboard wall back to a normal color and patch up all the holes and scrapes that we made during our time here. Our graveyard that commemorates all the nights we don't remember will be taken down and thrown out. We'll say goodbye to our neighbors, our deck that faces the mountains, and Leo the lion statue that sits on the deck. We will turn in our keys and pool bands to the leasing office.

In one week I'll be registering for my last semester of classes. It's my last 'hunger games' for getting into the so few requirements that I have left. I'll never have to wake up at obscure times or 'take a bathroom break' during a class to go and register during my time slot.

I don't know what I'm doing after graduation. I'm not going to grad school. I don't have a job or an internship lined up waiting for me. I don't know where I'll be living. Honestly, I don't even know what I want to do with my degrees.

Once I graduate, I don't know who's going to stay in contact with me and who's going to drop me like a hot potato. I'll pass down my fraternity letters to my little and exchange my nightly library groutfit for a cap and gown. I'll never get student discounts again and I will finally never have to keep track of my JACard. I'll never have holiday breaks and going out on a Thursday will look washed-up.

Gone will be the nights where I would sit in my roommate's room and watch World of Dance. Gone will be the times where we all sit around and debate if we should go out or stay in. I will no longer have access to a free gym membership and free football tickets. When I come back to visit, will I be welcomed or will I feel awkward and out of place?

I'll say goodbye to my home for the past four years. I'll go to Backcountry and Brickhouse one last time. I'll cry on the quad for old times sake and I'll try one last time to pet a quad cat. I'll walk through Forbes and Harrison Hall; the two buildings that I sold my soul to and I'll thank my professors for giving me their wisdom and being so patient with me.

So what am I doing after graduation? I don't know. But I do know that because of my school and the relationships I formed, I'm sure I'll be alright.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

Look at that beauty.

I LOVE Google Calendar! Not only is it a great tool to map out your week, it comes with cool features. You can color code tasks and events, get text reminders and so much more. You can even sync your calendar with other people's (this is very helpful for roommates or study buddies).

Google Doc File Folders

Crying.

Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

This is by far my favorite productivity app. It's a Chrome extension that acts as a home page whenever you open a new window or tab. It comes complete with the weather, a motivational quote and a to-do list! The best feature is their "main focus for the day". It keeps you grounded for sure- especially when it pops up with every tab and forces you to think about all you need to accomplish.

Wunderlist

This is a to-do list on steroids- definitely worth checking out!

Todist

A to-do list app for your phone! I love this just to organize what my top priorities are.

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