Dear New Graduate,

Congratulations! Take a moment to bask in the awesomeness that is you and reflect on those years you spent working your ass off in college. You did it. Despite every roadblock and obstacle, you persisted. You walked across the stage, proudly represented your school's colors, shook hands with the President, and glided off the stage with the most expensive piece of paper you will probably ever own. Graduation was the cherry on top of an already magical experience at college and now that you've had time to take it all in, you're probably worried.

You've probably realized that while the afterlife of graduation is less stressful in a way, it's not the same as college. You've either moved back into your childhood bedroom or you've moved out of your college apartment to somewhere different. Either way, your college friends aren't around. They aren't there to pop over at 10 pm just to chat, they aren't there to drag you out to the bars after you've had a bad day, and they aren't there to go on a Taco Bell run in your free time. Not only is it weird not constantly being surrounded by your friends, but it's also weird not staying up until 4 am.

Now that you're home and no longer have both school and work to balance, you can actually go to bed at a decent time. In fact, you need to go to bed at a decent time now so you can actually function at your adult job. You now have the decent sleep schedule and moments to your self like you what prayed for the first week of freshman year when you just wanted college to be over. Your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and co-workers were all right: college is the best time of your life.

What is important to know is that college is the best time of your life so far. Yes, everything familiar has been stripped away once again just like when you graduated from high school. It doesn't seem life can get any more fun than college but you have to remember you felt the same way about high school and you survived.

While it seems like reality is a scary place, it's where we put to work our newly discovered selves and our new college-educated brains. It's work that's not a lie and yes there will be many ups and downs as you build this new life of yours from the ground up but it's worth it. What is the point of life if we never challenge ourselves or grow as human beings? No part of your life will ever be just like college (unless you go back for another degree) but that doesn't mean the fun is over. You're going to meet new people, see new places, buy a house, fall in love (maybe a few times), build a career, and maybe have a few kids.

Every new path you cross will be new and exciting in their own way. Most importantly, know that you will always have people behind you who will love and support you no matter what life brings. Lean on them when times get tough and they will be there to celebrate with you when life is going great!

You're in no rush to have certain experiences by a certain time, so enjoy them. Don't worry about not having your dream job right out of the gate, everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. You are the master of your life now. Don't get stuck in the past but instead look towards the future. With your new degree, you can now add your contributing piece to make society a better place.

Be proud of yourself and keep your head held high because while one chapter has been finished, another has just begun. You've got this!