1. You have a degree.
It may seem an obvious thing to say but it’s very easy to forget just what exactly you’re getting out of your college education. It may not even seem like much of an achievement when everyone you’ve been surrounded by for the past three or four years walks away with the same degree, but on a national scale having a degree is a definite plus and sets you apart from other potential candidates when applying for a job. You earned it and you saw your course through and now you’ve been rewarded for all of your hard work and effort. Own it. You should be proud of it.
2. You are at your most liberated.
Most students graduate with some form of debt like an overspent overdraft or the doomsday that is the thought of paying off your student loans. But despite the thought of money woes plaguing your life in the immediate future, you are actually at your most free right now then you ever have been or ever will be. You no longer have the commitment of education, you don’t have a mortgage to pay off. At the most your responsibility to the world consists of making sure your rent and your bills are paid up to date. Enjoy this independence and freedom while you can.
3. You have just spent years studying what you love.
You have considerably more knowledge in your subject of choice now than you did when you started. You know what it means to find and nurture your passion and have been introduced to new theories, new authors, and new technologies you definitely would not have been able to find on your own. If you study what you love, you should love what you study and how many people in this world can unequivocally state that they have spent at least three years doing what they absolutely love to do?
4. You have met people who will be in your life forever.
They’ve seen you at your best and they’ve seen you at your worst. If you’re still on speaking terms with them at graduation, chances are your friends will be by your side for all of your future milestones. You may not see them every day anymore, and transitioning from living within five minutes of everyone you know, to having to trek across the country just to see them is rough and hard to swallow. But these guys are only a phone call/text/Facebook/Skype away — and always will be. College is an experience best enjoyed with others, with whom you can share memories.
5. This world is yours now.
First thing’s first: the world does not owe you anything. You can’t expect to waltz off the graduation stage and into the career of your choice complete with healthcare and a 401k, with added benefits package. In life you have to work for what you want and, luckily for all you graduates, you know exactly what that means. You worked to get the grades to get into college, you worked to graduate from college and now that those studying days are behind you, you have the drive and determination you need to really succeed in life. It’s definitely not going to be easy and at times you will want to cry and rant and rave but you’re young, you’re educated and whether you like it or not life is going to happen. So why not just submit yourself and go along for the ride?
6. The biggest reason graduates have to be happy? Your time is now.
Amongst the graduates of today are the Next Big Things. There are the doctors, the academics, and the writers all waiting to enter the real world outside of their student bubble. There are so many reasons to be happy in this world. Now’s the time to go out and find them.