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  • Writer's pictureA'Leeyah Ponder

BONUS MSG || A note to College Students

Hello Family,


This time last year I was saving up money to pay for graduation expenses, preparing for midterm exams, trying to figure out "life after college graduation", all while navigating romantic relationships, work, friendships and family.

I felt like I was in over my head most of time. In February of 2022, I was only months away from being the first in my family to graduate college and the PRESSURE WAS ON!

Many of you will be the first, and hear me out, there is nothing wrong with that. Many of you will explore places, jobs and connect with people that your parents and/or other family members didn't have the opportunity to. Many of you are living, or will live, in states and countries where you don't have close family and friends to support you. Many of you are TIRED of hearing, "What's next for you? What is your plan after you graduate?"

A year ago I was TIRED, STRESSED, OVERWHELMED AND TRYING TO KEEP MY HEAD ABOVE WATER. So, college student I see you, hear you and understand what you are dealing with.

  • Whether you are in an undergraduate, graduate or Ph. D. program, I encourage you to give yourself GRACE.

LIFE COMES AT YOU FAST. Being in school for 2-5 years, or more, can feel so short when you're living through it. BREATHE. Everything will fall into place in time. 

You could have all your ducks in a row, knowing what's next for you and actively walking out your 2-5 year plan. If this is you, I LOVE THAT YOU FOR YOU! On the other hand, everyone's story is not, "I manifested this part of my life and it's coming together perfectly." This is life for crying out loud. Sometimes your plans will fail. Sometimes you will lose friends and family that you held close to your heart during the PEAK of your transition or journey. Sometimes nothing makes sense. LET'S TAKE A BREATH. INHALE. HOLD FOR 3 SECONDS. EXHALE. You've either worked hard or you've coasted through your collegiate program and both inputs will lead to an output. You have a college degree and with the help of networking, applying for jobs and faith YOU WILL GET A JOB.
  • Work on living in the moment...

LIFE COMES AT YOU FAST. A friend of mine once told me, "College days swiftly pass." You won't be this age, in this part of your journey, with this level of knowledge nor perspective ever again. This time next year in 2024, you'll think back to where you are now and wonder why you didn't spend more time with your college friends, why you didn't eat out at your favorite local restaurant more, and why you were so hard on yourself. 
Sucking the joy out of your journey doesn't lead to better outcomes... it could be making life unnecessarily hard and miserable for you.
You want to get things right. If you're anything like myself you want to get it right THE FIRST TIME, but that's not life though. LIFE IS starting over, trying again, succeeding, failing, understanding your 'WHY' all while living a passionate and purpose filled life. There are levels to this stuff.
  • You can change your mind if you want... AT ANY TIME.

Don't let people convince you that having an "ideal plan" is the only way you can succeed in life. People graduate college with degrees they never use, switch career fields, start passion projects and end up taking up trades that lead them into spaces where they're doing passion-fueled-work. ALL OF IT IS OKAY! 
My god sister, Frederica, once told me that one of the best parts about being a human being is that we have the ability to change our mind. MIGHT I SAY SHE DID NOT MISS WHEN SHE ENCOURAGED ME TO EMBRACE CHANGE!
It's okay to want something different, to have a taste for something more creative, to crave working in an environment with people that LOVE WHAT THEY DO. ITS OKAY! JUST BREATHE.

I don't have all the answers, and honestly no one does. I wish someone told me in February of 2022 that I was just beginning to scratch the surface of becoming my full true authentic self. I wish someone also told me in February of 2022 that no level of preparation and planning can REALLY prepare you for how much you'll change and evolve during your life journey.

So, let's take another breath. INHALE. HOLD FOR 3 SECONDS. EXHALE.

I love you. Jesus love you MOST.

Hang in there. Keep your head up, and if you can’t that’s okay too.

Xoxo Miss Ponder

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