Updated: May 20, 2020
Today, I was supposed to be sitting amongst the peers that I spent the last four years within the Prudential Center at Newark.
I was supposed to have donned my decorated graduation cap, the long, blue, polyester robe, and all my cords. I was supposed to walk up onto the stage, shake the hands of people I’d never ever met or talked to during the four years of my undergrad, smile wide, and accept the diploma that marked the successful completion of my undergraduate career. Yesterday, I was supposed to celebrate with all of my professors and family friends with a big, fancy, Italian dinner ordered and scheduled at the beginning of this semester, four months ago. It was going to be my final farewell, closure. It was going to be the end of an era towards my next step of getting ready for 1L year of Law School in the fall.
Instead, I’m spending the day sitting in front of the camera of my laptop, on my living room sofa, surrounded by the family that has been quarantined with me for the past nine weeks. We’ll have a small catered meal and a tiny little cake baked by one of my own friend’s through her new business topped with these adorable toppers (I also saw these, and safe to say my support for Amazon has skyrocketed). We’ll call those family friends and professors, and we’ll toast to the years to come. It will be glorious, but different. It will be sad, but exciting.
When Elena asked me to write a blog post for the end of my semester, I was honored and a little nervous. This graduation is a big deal, to me and all the rest of over-three-million college students graduating this year. This is my tribute to you all, and to all those people supporting you through this transitional phase of your life.
Dear Fellow Graduates,
We are at a moment of transition. At this point, most people would be terrified and confused - afraid of losing their routine and losing their friends. But we are the class of 2020 and in the last four years, we have grown into ourselves through these kinds of moments of transition.
First, we transitioned to college, learned how to read and write the way our professors want us to, how to procrastinate work and still get an A, and how to plan out our sick days. We did all this while one of the most controversial presidential elections was running its race. Once we finally got comfortable with our position in classes and with our friends, we were forced to transition into online schooling. Sure, it was a shock to our system but persevered. We learned to make our own schedules, we learned to meet up with friends virtually, and we learned how to stay patient with our families. And now, we finally transition into life in the real world--be the graduate studies, a full time job, or anywhere in between that we find ourselves--in the midst of one of the worst economies. But we can never forget that we have been made stronger in the last year than we ever were before. We have become resilient and brave, we’ve shifted gears in the blink of an eye, and look at us - we’re still standing strong!
Our time staying safe at home has taught us more than we could have hoped. And each lesson we’ve learned will positively influence once we are finally able to enter into the workforce. The economy will be filled with young and ambitious students who know how to maintain friendships without in-person meetings, how to communicate through only the use of email, and how to motivate themselves at home and not just at work. We will persevere through all that comes our way. In the meantime, here are a few things to remember and may write on a post-it to stick around your room.
1. Stay resilient
You are so much stronger and smarter than you may think. You have gone through hard times already, you have gone through the sadness of losing graduation and losing senior year. But you have not lost the power that this has given you. Stay strong.
2. Stay kind
A job search or the transition into a new school for further studies will bombard you with new people, new denials, and the loss of normalcy. Make sure you remain empathetic and kind to yourself and those people around you as you move through each of those things. Remember, kindness attracts kindness!
3. Stay in touch (with friends and family)
Don’t stop calling your best college friends when you move out of town. And don’t stop calling your mother and grandmother either! There is wisdom in past generations-people who have already experienced all you’re going through and in the support of people going through the same things as you. Don’t alienate yourself from your past.
Class of 2020, we are on the road to return. There may have been a bunch of ups and downs in the process of getting to this moment, but each moment of transition and hardship has prepared us for the world we face today. Stay strong, stay motivated, and stay resilient. You are more than you think.
A Few Essential Oils that Keep Me Sane During This Time of Transition: Adaptiv Roll On : Every morning since the beginning of quarantine, I’ve rolled Adaptiv onto my wrist and taken a deep, calming breath in. It calls my heart and mind and prepares me for the day ahead.
Cheer Roll On: When we were still in school and I was teaching yoga classes in our gym, I would roll Cheer onto everyone’s wrists at the end of class. I would remind them all to look at the positive things happening in their lives, to stay motivated, and to stay grateful even at the hardest times. I roll on Cheer when I need a little bit of this motivation myself and don’t have a yoga teacher to tell me!
Peace Roll On: I discovered this oil when I first started working with Elena. I fell in love with it’s rich, deep scent and its ability to get my body and mind to rest at the end of the day. A perfect way to destress!