Tag Archives: 20s

For the new college graduates…

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With graduation weekend at the University of Michigan upon us, a few new graduates have asked me about what I have learned since college. It is a monumental year for me in some ways, as it has officially been five years since my undergraduate graduation from the University of Michigan and one year since my IMBA graduation from the University of South Carolina.

What can I share with the new graduating class from my alma mater and any other university?

Two words: Be Prepared.

But not in the traditional way you have been prepared all of your life up until this point. There is no studying that can prepare you for the life tests of your 20s. The next few years of your life will likely be less prescribed than ever before. Unless if you are continuing with school, you will no longer be on a regular schedule, anticipating spring break, 3 month summer breaks, and long weekends every month.

Be prepared for the most adventurous time of your life. You will likely move to places you would have never imagined, try jobs you would have never imagined, and have the freedom to travel.

Be prepared that people in your life may come and go, but they will change you forever. The friends will be in your heart forever as they help you laugh and wipe off your tears as you go through transitions and experience the turbulent 20s.

Be prepared for relationships that will succeed and others that will fail, but all of them will help you grow. And it is up to you to choose to stay in the relationships that help you grow for the better and that do not hold you back from your true self or your true potential.

Be prepared for choices that will challenge your values and your vision of who you are. But view the choices as an opportunity to shape who you are and to stand your ground when others won’t.

Be prepared to make mistakes. A cookie cutter life is not always realistic…you may have a plan A, but always have a plan B. And don’t be surprised when a completely different plan ends up taking place. As long as you stay rooted in your values and stay positive, any plan can end up working for you.

Be prepared that everything that happens to you is part of your life experience. Good and bad, your experiences will prepare you for the next decades ahead. I’ve always heard to take risks in your 20s since you will have more time to recover from them. In one way or another, everything you do can be viewed as a risk, but I view it as an opportunity…at the very least to gain life experience. If you remember that everything is life experience, you will be inspired to get through any situation…maybe with a few more wrinkles, but ultimately with a smile knowing that you made it.

And finally, be prepared to not be prepared. Let go of trying to control what happens to you. Plan enough to make sure you are stable and secure in the present and near future, but remember that spontaneity is a beautiful thing. Allow new experiences to come your way on their own schedule. Envision a bright future and truly believe it, and it will come to you. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

For my fellow wolverine graduates, never forget…for now goodbye, for tomorrow good luck, and Forever Go Blue!

And for my fellow gamecock graduates, Forever to Thee!

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Spring Transitions

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Spring is in the air! I am finding that life in my 20’s seems to be a series of springs, with new beginnings and transitions occurring all the time. Those of us in our 20’s are constantly adapting to change as we are developing ourselves, our careers, and our relationships as we locate our place and determine our fit in the world. Watching myself and my friends in many transition phases, I have been dreaming about the wonders of stability. How comforting it seems to be older, established, stable, and settled in life. Just as people older than me often say “I wish as young again,” I often think “I wish I was stable.” I have been seeking inspiration for how to best respond to life’s many transitions.

In this month’s Oprah Magazine, Oprah features inspiring anecdotes of how women have reacted to change. She connects to those of us who struggle as we face change, and provides an interesting alternative:

“We understand that when change has its way with you, you can lose a lot – like the people and things you hold dear, or sight of who you are. But picture an even more painful scenario: You wake up day after day, and nothing is ever different, and so you have no opportunity to grow, to expand your humanity and the capacity of your heart. You miss out on the essential point of being alive, which is to experience experiences and feel feelings, to partake of the messy and marvelous things occurring all around you, to watch the powerful play go on and contribute your verse. And, at the end of it all, to look back and say that you lived.”

After first reading this, I paused and was in awe. I was reminded about the importance of change and how it helps us grow as people. It is comforting to know that we all face change, and it is the essence of life. With each change I face in the transitional lifestyle of the 20’s, I am creating the established woman I aspire to be in the future.

Source: Times Union

Source: Times Union

The Oprah Magazine also features a Transition Tool Kit, which I found especially helpful to understand the stages we face in transition and how we can respond to them.The logical approach to facing transitions makes them seem more manageable and relatable to those around us.

Like the predictability of spring arriving every year, we can anticipate that we will face transitions. With every spring, and every transition, we have the opportunity to renew ourselves and our surroundings. Along with nature, we begin a new season of our lives. I am inspired to have this mindset with each transition I face now and in the future.

Changing Our Perspective About Change

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Change. It seems to be the major theme of our mid-20’s. Or some may argue that change is the theme of life.

I can’t help but notice all the changes that have occurred over the past several years. How is it possible that so many life events can begin and end in such a short amount of time? How can we adapt to all the uncertainty in our day to day lives and predict the future?

As a person who thrives when there is structure and certainty, I’ve had to learn to adapt to change. While overall I have learned how to handle change well, becoming a working professional has forced me to adapt to change faster than ever. Common changes for those of us in our mid-20s:

  • Career (from high school to college to entering the workforce to graduate school)
  • Family (beginnings of relationships, ends of relationships, funerals, weddings, births)
  • Friends (new friends, old friends, roommates)
  • Relationships (single life, the dating scene, boyfriends/girlfriends, spouses)
  • Location (moving away from home, studying abroad, traveling the world, moving away from our home state or country, living in a dorm/apartment/house with and without roommates)
  • Technology (it’s hard to believe that just a few years of us most of us did not have smart phones)
  • Perspective (from thinking like an adolescent, to thinking like a young adult, and for some, to thinking like a husband/wife or mother/father)

While it can be challenging to accept all these changes and to continue moving forward, it is important for us to not forget that change is good. We shouldn’t fear it; everyone experiences change and it helps us develop into the people we are and will be.

Today, I came across this great quote, which changed my perspective about change. I came to realize that change is the best way for us grow as people and advance the world.

Source: NOOMA (drinknooma.com), a beverage company from Cleveland, which is an excellent (and tasty!) form of electrolyte hydration

Still not convinced? Here are more of my favorite inspirNational quotes that remind us to embrace change:

“Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something even better.” -Anonymous

“Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.” -Jim Rohn

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” -George Bernard Shaw

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” -Maya Angelou

“Change your thoughts and you can change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peale

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi