Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Flip Side: Advice to the Class of 2010

I figure, I just gave a few choice tidbits of nostalgic advice to those looking forward to four blissful (ha!) collegiate years. How about doing the same for those about to say goodbye to those same four years? After all, you are the guys I'm closer to, I even know a few of you. So here we go, the best I can offer you (keeping in mind that this is coming from a one-year old graduate still searching for their place in the aforementioned real world):

1. Savor the stress. This is your final conference session. And you have a week less than everyone else. It's enough to make you pull your hair out. Believe it or not, I miss that. Because it's crazy, but it's kind of awesome. It's a special kind of stress that will soon be replaced by the stresses of the real world. And those stresses can't be cured by locking yourself up in a study room and living on Pub grub.

2. After conference is done, it's time for a job search (unless you are one of those inexplicably lucky people to already have plans). When you're sending those resumes, crafting the cover letters and eventually taking interviews, learn how to sell your Sarah Lawrence degree. Some people will know what it means to be an SLC grad, but others won't know how you've spent the past four years, and won't know how impressed they should be. Let them know that you know how to project-plan, can work independently and make tight deadlines. You can dig deep for research and you know how to present your projects to upper management for approval.

3. Go to Mayfair. Sure, your time is nearly up. But don't just live in the future, take advantage of what's going on right now. This weekend it's Mayfair, and it's too easy to just let it pass and ignore the cotton candy while you make a final push to complete your work and wrap everything up. Don't. I told the incoming first years to take advantage of on-campus events, and that goes quadruple for you guys. Your last midnight breakfast, last brunch, last theater show, last dance party, these are milestones that should be exploited for all possible nostalgia and self-pity. Take pictures of your dorm room, the campus, everything you see everyday and might not even notice anymore. Then the nostalgia can continue for decades.

And take pictures at the faculty show. Secretly, of course, and for your own personal use (no Facebook posting!), but just do it.

Sorry you only get three pieces of advice. Honestly, I don't feel qualified to offer much else. Just hang in there, I guess. And I'm still jealous of the few days you have left there. (Let me have my jealousy, it keeps me going.)

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