Literary Sentiments for Graduation

Four years flies when you’re having fun. I’m admittedly always a little too eager to start over, close old chapters and pack my bags in pursuit of a new adventure. But as thrilling as the impending future is, I can’t help but get a little teary-eyed at the thought of leaving behind a place that has given me so many gifts, lessons and incredible friendships. If your heart is torn over the conflicting roller coaster of emotions that graduating, parting ways and moving on brings, you are not alone. In fact, countless authors and poets across the ages have felt your pain. Wherever your head is at right now, I hope that one of these literary sentiments is able to warm your heart and fill you with peace.

If you’re feeling a little lost: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver, That Summer Day

The thought of life after college can definitely feel a bit like an uncertain void. After this point, there’s no set template for how to live your life. Your future is entirely in your own hands. Your life is yours to do with what you wish. You’re on your own, kid, but there are so many thrilling possibilities on the horizon.

If you need a fresh start: “Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning, the soil is richer, and new things can grow.” -Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

For some of us, the college chapter has been hard. It was stressful, lonely or what have you. It’s okay if this was the case; college is not the peak of life. If you’re feeling excited to move on, great! But I also challenge you to remember that God wastes nothing. This season was not a loss, and God will use the experiences and lessons you’ve learned at Regent to continue shaping you into the person He has created you to be.

If you’re grieving friendships: “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I cannot express how thankful I am for all of my friends who have filled the past four years with movie nights, bizarre conversations, spontaneous adventures, hysterical laughter and undying comfort. I am grieved to think of us all dispersing, so if the thought of parting ways with friends who have become family makes your heart ache, you are not alone. Be encouraged that, with effort, those bosom friendships can continue to grow, but also be excited for new friendships yet to bloom. Years ago, we left high school, came to college and made new friends. I am confident that we will do it once again as we begin life after college. 

If you’re feeling excited and weepy and bittersweet all at once: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Such a poignant piece of wisdom from a stuffed bear. This quote beautifully encapsulates how I feel about this collegiate chapter coming to a close. It was lovely, and now I’m excited to start the next chapter. There is so much goodness and adventure and opportunity waiting just around the corner, on the other side of this wonderful little bubble that we’ve called home for the last four years. In the words of a much wiser man, Desmond Totu, “Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good out together that will overwhelm the world.”