- Cap and gown…. ✓
- Pomp and circumstance…. ✓
- Bright eyes, cheek-to-cheek smiles…. ✓
- Ambitious and ready to take on the world…. ✓
Graduation season is happening in full force and like birthdays and New Year’s, it’s a perfect time to reminisce about the past. I’ve come to realize that life milestones feel a bit different in adulthood. During college, every new experience garnished fresh emotions of excitement or anguish: moving into the dorms, spring break, pledging for a fraternity, finals, summer vacation, etc. They were bona fide feelings of anticipation and achievement in a world that was a bit smaller with less complexities.
After becoming a family man and working a non-traditional but relatively safe career path in pharmacy, my threshold for excitement has been set a little lower. If my 21-year-old self could see the enthusiasm that I express walking into Costco on the weekend and seeing new center aisles displays, he might be a tad bit disappointed.
Through my recent travels of entrepreneurship in a rapidly developing industry, I’ve realized that these feelings are slowly returning. Every new conversation that’s initiated, every seminar or podcast that’s absorbed, every unique connection built, and every brick wall that I’ve run into is an opportunity to learn and become a better version of myself. By actively stepping out of my comfort zone, I’ve regained a glimpse of the ambitious mentality that was felt the same day my own cap flew through the air.
My advice to you as a new grad won’t come from a Dr. Seuss quote or cryptic variation of Carpe Diem/YOLO (do people still stay that?), but simply to always remember the way you felt on graduation day. Those authentic emotions of joy and accomplishment will be nearly impossible to replicate.
Cheers and a big congratulations to the class of 2021!!