As a graduating senior, I continually get asked, “What are you planning on doing after graduation?” Which is typically followed by, “Are you excited to graduate?” I feel like the common response to these questions is just a very general response with a job title and a location followed by the general “I don’t want to graduate” statement. I understand that graduating and moving into the real world is intimidating, but as graduating seniors we should be proud of what we have learned in our time at Trinity and we should be confident about where we will be after we graduate. When someone asks you these questions, you should take some time to reflect on what you have learned as a student at Trinity and you should be proud to express what it is that you will be doing after graduation and why you decided to do it. As graduates of Trinity University, there will be few people our age more qualified for the working environment than we will be. Trinity has not only prepared us for what we will need to know in our respective careers, it has taught us things that we never even knew we wanted to know.

I came to Trinity as an engineering major knowing deep down inside that was what I wanted to do, and it was what I needed to do. I am graduating in two and a half weeks with a degree in studio art and a minor in new media. You might be thinking that was an awful decision on my part, that I won’t make anywhere near the money as I would have as an engineer. Although this may be true, one thing I know for sure is that I will absolutely love my job and that is what truly matters.   That’s the thing about Trinity, you come here to become the person that you think you want to be, and you leave as the person that you were meant to be. I look back at my four years here and I am proud of every single choice that I have made. Ok, maybe not every single choice, but who hasn’t made some mistakes? But what I am proud of is the person that I have become. When I came to Trinity, I thought I knew everything I wanted in life, and now I am leaving and ready to take on any challenge and to become whatever it is that I am meant to be.

I challenge you, fellow seniors, and those of you who will be seniors in the future: When someone asks you if you are excited to graduate, you tell them “Hell yes,” because you should be excited (of course this is theoretically speaking; be polite to whoever is asking this question). Then take some time to think about why you are excited. You are graduating from one of the top universities in the nation (thanks, U.S. News) which has given you every tool you need to be successful for the rest of your life. You have worked really hard the last four years in order to learn the things you needed to learn to take this next step we are about to take. And now that we are graduating, we finally get to take everything that we have learned and put it to use. It is time for us to take those tools that we have been given and create the lives that we were meant to live. Some of us will be going to graduate school and I wish you all the best. The rest of us, on the other hand, will no longer be turning in assignments. We are no longer doing these things because we have to, we are doing them because we want to. So let’s all go out there and make the best of the lives that we have set up for ourselves.

So, am I excited for graduation?

Hell yes.