Words of Wisdom for Graduating Seniors
Pi Beta Phi is proud of our graduating sisters and all they have contributed to their chapters, campuses and communities. As your time as a collegian comes to a close, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. A few of our 2020-2021 Leadership Development Consultants (LDCs) recently shared their advice, tips and words of wisdom for graduating members as they enter their next chapter of life.
Caleigh Greene, Louisiana Beta
“As a graduating senior, you are probably feeling a whirlwind of emotions, from excitement to relief, from hope to pressure to have your next steps figured out and feeling immense nostalgia to hesitancy as you enter “the real world.” It’s okay to feel all these things. Looking back at the weeks leading up to college graduation, a couple of things that I wish I could’ve taught my 21-year-old self are to work hard to maintain your relationships and to trust the lane that you are in.
Transitioning out of some of the best years of your life can seem daunting, especially as you witness others securing dream job offers, acceptances into their dream graduate programs, and moving onto “bigger” and “better” things. While it may seem difficult, one of the most important things in this new season that you are in is to celebrate the strides that others are making while still having trust and security in your own lane. The comparison to someone else’s pace in their journey will only hinder yours. Additionally, it’s important to work tirelessly to maintain the relationships that are important to you in this season. The friends and people that you prioritize and pour into will help you recognize that your lane is just as important as everyone else’s, despite the rate of success or growth that you are experiencing or that they are experiencing.
All in all, the people in your life and the lane of life that you are navigating are unique to you. No matter where your lane takes you, no matter what your strides of growth or success look like, and no matter who your people are, these things are just as important as anyone else’s because they are yours. Ground yourself in these truths and you will always find success and growth in your journey.”
Stephanie Treanor, Arizona Gamma
“Don’t feel like you need to have your life entirely planned out by graduation. You have time to discover your passions, try new things and figure out who you want to be. Give yourself the time and space to grow and seek out opportunities that bring you joy, but don’t stress about having to know exactly what your life is supposed to look like at this point. Enjoy this season of your life and give yourself the grace to not know where it may lead.”
Christiana Holladay, Colorado Gamma
“As you wrap up your last year in college, take the time to step back and reminisce on the amazing memories and friends you made during your journey as a collegian. The friends you have made along the way, have been by your side during the best of times and the worst of times and have helped you create memories for a lifetime. Now it’s time for you all to go your separate ways as you experience your own unique milestone moments in life. Maybe it’s starting a new job, pursuing another degree, or moving to a new city. Wherever your next phase of life takes you, these friends will always be a part of your life and be the center of your memories.
It may be difficult to maintain these relationships with distance, but even when our sisters are far apart, they are never far in our hearts! Pi Phi is a Lifelong Commitment, and the journey doesn’t end after your college years. You have to continue to commit yourself to your friends and our values. Whether calling them on the drive home for work or catching up for brunch, Sincere Friendship is one of the most valuable things in life. Do not take your friendships for granted because as you start this new phase in life, they will continue to be your biggest supporters and help you to grow to be the best version of yourself even from miles away!”
Rachel Selig, California Epsilon
“Build your identity and think about who you are as a person and what you enjoy outside of school. I found myself in middle school looking forward to high school and high school looking forward to college; always looking ahead to my next academic endeavor and using my future goals as a way to describe myself to others. Once I graduated, I felt a little lost and didn't know what to do next and how to identify myself as a young woman in my twenties, not in school anymore. While I highly value my education, I have learned that it's not my defining characteristic and there's other great qualities about me and things I am interested in!”
Melissa Scott, Oregon Gamma
After graduation, I realized so much of my time was filled with university activities, clubs and other involvements and consequently, how much free time I had without these activities. These constant sources of engagement and community are not as close to your fingertips after graduation, after all, there probably isn't a regular club fair organized in town!
My advice to graduates is to spend some time finding a hobby or activity that is personally fulfilling or finding another way to connect with others outside of your work environment. Whether that hobby is becoming the iconic sourdough perfecter, new home seamstress, knitting fiend, volunteering with a local organization or anything else that piques your interest, it is incredibly grounding and helpful in the adjustment to post university life! Find something to ground yourself, for yourself.
Published May 6, 2021
photo sources: @wlupiphi and @piphildcs