D’Nysha Cook

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Being a senior and not being in a classroom feels a little odd.

I write this from my cubical, reflecting on what being a senior who graduated a semester early has been like for me. It has been challenging, it has been lonely and most of all, it is nothing I expected.

For some strange reason, like the rest of my generation, I expected to get my dream job right out of college. New England College told me for the past three years that I was amazing, innovative and passionate. The awards I’ve received and the work I’ve done at NEC led me to believe that officially being on my own without any reinforcements would be easy.

That was a lie.

I questioned every little thing I did, I compared myself to others who seemed to have found their way through life. I was embarrassed but most of all sad. I had so much glory at NEC, to become as dull as stones on the side of the road. When I came home from school, I went on many job interviews, interviews for all my dream jobs, and was rejected.

I would stare at the email and wonder why do I even bother? I can go back to NEC for a semester and be appreciated and told the reassuring words from my peers who knew me the best. I didn’t need to go into the real word yet.

But I stayed in the real world, and I found a job and then I found me. I figured out what I wanted to do with my life, but I also realized I didn’t have to do it right away.

Time has tricked us into believing we have to rush into everything. We must find a job and pay student loans and get an apartment, etc. However, we don’t. We don’t have to rush and do not one thing because if we aren’t sure of ourselves, then how can we even dare prosper in this very sad world?

So, I decided to not worry about others, to look on social media for guidance and to damn sure not allow a single soul in this world make me ashamed of my growth. It takes a tree approximately 20-30 years to grow . . . let that sink in.

So being a senior who has graduated early hasn’t been the most exciting experience, but it may just have been the melancholiest insight into life.

And that’s okay.

Because being a senior is having one foot in the past and the other in the future, which in all retrospect is scary but necessary.

So, would I ever had guessed I’d be starting my own nonprofit while working in early intervention? Hell no, but I have my peace of mind, my soul still intact and a plan. And

sometimes that’s all you need. You don’t need to know how you’ll get there, worry about that some other time.

Congratulations class of 2019.

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