Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Letter to College Freshman...

RJ and I at graduation

Dear freshman,

I graduated in May 2008 from Georgia State University in Atlanta with a Bachelor of the Arts in Print Journalism and a Bachelor of the Arts in Pre-Law Political Science. I graduated magna cum laude and had just finished my stint as Editor-in-Chief of the university's student newspaper, The Signal. During my time in college, I had also successfully completed a very beneficial internship with Creative Loafing.

As a bright-eyed freshman, I knew I wanted to be a hardcore, political news reporter. I did everything to position myself to be successful in this pursuit as I'm sure you can tell from the above paragraph.

After I graduated, something odd happened. I landed what I thought was my dream entry-level political reporting job at a small newspaper. Even though there were some other reasons I ended up quitting my so-called dream job, I soon realized being a political reporter was not my dream. Once I reflected for some time, I came to the realization that I had formed my idea of a dream job as a result of what I perceived others wanted me or expected me to do.

A year and a half after my graduation, I have realized my new, true dream: to own and operate my own paper goods business. Do I regret the four years I spent at Georgia State? Heck no! Those four years were some of the best and most rewarding of my entire life. In all honesty, I wouldn't know how to design the invitations and prints I sell. It was in one of my journalism classes and in my work with The Signal that I learned how to use the software.

You won't know exactly what you'll be doing with this degree you are about to earn when you graduate. Do you have to have it all figured out now? No! That is what college is for! No matter what degree you end up with, you'll be able to use it to get a job somewhere. At the end of the day, the time you spent in college earning your degree will prepare you for what's next. Is it still worth it? Yes! No one can take away the knowledge you will gain in these coming years. You cannot put a price tag on a meaningful education.

To sum it all up, relax. You don't have to have it all figured out right now. I still don't and I'd like to think I'm doing just fine. Never forget: you are the captain of your own ship.

You got this!

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