Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash

Dear friends, you made it.

And I wish I had words of advice for you, but I don’t. Not really; there’s a bunch of things I’m still trying to figure out for myself, about myself, about life and adulthood.

But this I know: you made it.

You made it, with friends by your side, family cheering you on, and laughter in your heart. With tears in your eyes, coffee in your hand, and deadlines circling in your brain. You made it.

And your life? Your life is just beginning. You have so much in front of you, so much growth, so many wonderful chances and opportunities. Don’t waste them. Walk out those doors tomorrow with your arms wide open, palms up, ready to catch what the world throws at you.

Everything won’t be good or ideal or what you had planned. Take it for what it is: an experience, an opportunity for something good to come out of.

You made it.

Remember this moment. Take all the selfies you can. This is the door opening that you’ll want to remember for the rest of your life. You won’t remember what is said tomorrow, but you’ll remember this feeling: this excitement, the nervousness, the what the heck am I supposed to do now? Remember this feeling.

Remember the friends you’ve met along this journey–keep in touch–they’re the ones who have watched you grow the most. They’re the ones you want to keep around.

Remember this moment.

This journey is about losing yourself and finding yourself. And one day you may wake up, look in the mirror, and not recognize the face staring back. This is ok, because one day you will find yourself again. You will find yourself in the friends you make, the friends you leave behind, the choices you make, the laughs you share, and the hearts you break. And success doesn’t depend on grades, but that doesn’t mean don’t try. Because, I don’t want to sound cliche, but you don’t know what you can do until you try, and sometimes you need to spread your wings and fly.

And life is filled with disappointments, believe me, I know. This journey is hard, but I want you to know people are willing to walk it with you, willing to be a crutch when you fall hard, willing to lend a helping hand or a listening ear, and willing to be a friend.

And don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, because the most rewarding friendships I’ve made are the ones that have sprouted out of my openness. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up, because you are braver than you believe. Some days you may feel small, but you are big enough–big enough to make a difference, big enough to matter, big enough to succeed.

And there’s nothing in this whole wide world that can take away those dreams you have.

And when the nights get hard, and the roads are rocky, and you don’t know where to turn, you have a friend in me. And you can always come home.

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