To the class of 2021 and those who are still not finished:

In a few weeks, you’ll be graduating and moving on bigger things. I would like you to take a moment and just breathe. Simply be in the present, focus on your breathing, and ground yourself from other thoughts. Take this moment and realize that you’re on the border of one chapter in life and the next, because you won’t have this moment again if you let it pass. It is a special time because you’re able to reflect on the last four years (or so) of your education with everything you’ve learned so far. Remember, not everything you’ve learned comes from the classroom. You may have learned about friendship, how to use diplomacy with roommates, or even how to do your taxes. You may have found a hobby or passion that is driving you. Breathe.

You may need to hear this: You are enough. I know that with changes in your life, your education, and your living space, you may come to question your own self worth. You are enough. You may have that thought in the back of your mind that you don’t have enough experience, effort, or money, but know that as long as you keep moving forward it will be O.K. You are enough. Life is really not a race. Although, you may compare yourself to your peers or your family, you are truly writing your story on your own time. So, just like everything else in life, don’t rush and panic. Breathe. Take each moment in stride and make sure that you ask yourself from time to time: Am I really do this for me? Is it helping me grow? Does it add to my passion and interest in life? If not, it may be a perfect time to pivot and change. You are enough.

Building yourself and being a “work in progress” does not equate to failure. Actually, I should even point out that “failing” is necessary in building the self. Let yourself fail from time to time and learn. Every failure becomes a point of improving on the next iteration rather than an end point. Breathe. And, of course, don’t be so hard on yourself when you fail. Others may judge you but what is most important is how you judge yourself. You are a student for life. You will fail and you will learn but that is the beauty of this cycle because you’ll always be a bit better than the last version of you. You are enough.

Sometimes you may need to take a step back and say “Is this good for me?”. You may have wandered down a path that an earlier version of you may have thought was wise and fulfilling, but it turned out to be something you don’t want. That is OK. Breathe. Adjustment in the course of your journey is something to be expected because we grow and we learn what we want and don’t want (which could change at any time). For example, traveling the world in a bus converted into a mobile home may something you need in your 20’s but it becomes a drag and a hassle in your 30’s. That doesn’t make it less true to you. It just does not serve you when you’ve entered your 30’s. Breathe and readjust. Learn to do this often because you should always be growing towards the best version of you and it may not be the thing you’ve done yesterday.

Breathe and know that you’re enough.

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