To The Class Of 2017…
It's almost time to move that tassel from one side of your cap to the other. Yup, it's graduation season.
As seniors end their college careers they may tend to stress out about finding a job, student loans, and what the future hold for them. All of those thoughts can be pretty daunting, huh?
I got to talk to a few very dynamic and optimistic college seniors who are about to snag their undergraduate diplomas. I learned a thing or two from them about work ethic and the key to success, and so will you.
Field of Study: Chemistry at California State University, Fullerton
Onayeme is one cool girl and an avid Reeeler—she’s got fashion and smarts. When she’s not solving chemistry equations, she loves sharing some outfit inspo to her Polyvore page. After graduating in May, she will begin working at Caltrans where she currently interns three days a week.
Compared to others she feels more than prepared to take on life after receiving her diploma. “I had to worry about more mature issues during college than some of my friends,” said Onayeme. She budgets out every little thing down to how much she allows herself to spend on fast food. She also takes a portion of her pay check—even if its $20—and transfers it into her Acorns Investing Account. Onayeme works hard, but still uses Reel to treat herself to a new book or new pair of shoes. Check out the gorgeous pair of Louboutins she's currently saving for...
Her key to success has been learning the value of a free afternoon. Instead of spending a free day just sleeping or lounging, she tries to do something that her future self would appreciate; like writing a post for her website, or doing laundry. Her ultimate key to success?—Maximizing all of her time.
Field of Study: Jazz Saxophone Performance at Indiana University
Daniel chose his major because of his love for jazz and bebop. He wanted to turn his passion into a career instead of doing something that he didn’t enjoy as much. Instead of dragging himself to finite mathematics and psych 101 classes every day, he gets excited to go to class because he gets to listen, and compose music 24/7.
The music program at Indiana University is vigorous to say the least. He has prepared himself for the real world in many different aspects. “I have learned many little things like how to work and how to fend for myself, but most of all I have learned what it takes to drive through failures, and to keep going until success is achieved,” said Daniel.
Like most other college seniors, Daniel has big aspirations. Ultimately, his goal is to own his own multimillion dollar company that combines business and music. He also wouldn’t mind becoming a master saxophonist and booking some gigs on TV and selling a couple million albums. One take away that I learned from Daniel is this, “If you do not do the work you do not deserve the reward. I always work to achieve what I not only need to get done, but what I can do on top of things to make myself even better than the standard.” PREACH!
Field of Study: Math & Economics at Kenyon College
Sylvie is from Seattle, Washington and loves everything from hiking and kayaking to chess and puzzles. She made the move in 2013 to Gambier, Ohio—a town of about 3,000 people—to play softball at Keyon College. She originally gravitated towards Kenyon because she wanted to have an experience significantly different from living in a big city.
She was drawn to the math department because she found that her economics courses to be incredibly interesting and applicable to many real life situations. Studying Mathematics and Economics helped her learn the value of money and how to be smart with it. She allocates a certain percent of her income (similar to Onayeme) into her savings account. Some of that income came from being the president of The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at her school.
Sylvie says that she was able to achieve success in college by surrounding herself with terrific people. Although she has thoroughly enjoyed her time at Kenyon, she is most looking forward to moving back to the “Emerald City”—aka Seattle—after graduation. She is undecided on what her next career move will be, but one day hopes to work for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Believe it or not there are hundreds of thousands of students graduating just like you who may or may not have their lives mapped out already. No matter what your background is, what you studied, or where you went to school—find what makes you happy and chase after it.
You may have heard the quote, "Happiness is a choice." Make the choice to dream big and let your aspirations drive and empower your future. Never settle for less, be smart and keep on grinding.
Here’s to the class of 2017! It's just the begining.
Sophia Zigmond / Writer