You’ve done it.  You completed all the necessary requirements and have finished.  
You. Are. A graduate.

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Now what?

There’s a looming elephant in the room that nobody seems to be talking about.  YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DO THIS.  You followed the plan.  If you’re a high school graduate, the plan was the state’s.  You invested in yourself by showing up and doing what teachers told you to do.  If you’re a college graduate, you made a plan to continue this trend and paid money (or will soon start paying back money) to do so.  You trusted that an institution would have the proper guides and programs to better qualify you to get good at whatever you were interested in.

“Are you ready?”

“What for?”

What happens next.”
“What happens next?!?”

That’s the rub.  When we’re in it, when we’re following a plan designed by others, we don’t have to care much about it.  We don’t have to think.  We just do. They say I need x to get y, and I’m supposed to want y, so I agree.  If you’ve never thought about what you want you certainly haven’t thought about how you’re going to get it.  

So again, what is it that you want?

 WHY would getting this make you happier?

Yes, you must be able to answer both.  If you can’t you’re not really sure whether you want it.  It only sounds like a good idea.  Prove yourself right by thinking deeper.

What you’re walking toward has to be worth leaving what you’ve finished behind.

This is no easy task.  We feel accomplished and comfortable in doing what it took to get where we are.  We even justify that where we are isn’t that bad so we can linger a little while longer.  Not doing anything is still a choice.  In it, you have the potential for anything or a regretful settling for nothing.  Most non-planners, unfortunately, slide into the latter.  No goals, no plan, no movement.
Those with a justified goal and plan, however, face a future similarly as frightening or exciting.  It’s scary to lock up your hopes and dreams with a definitive plan.  Especially one you’ve created.  Success or failure lies in the confidence of your abilities, and there are few opportunities in traditional education that allow you to fend for yourself and come out on top and know that you can do it again.  
We’re all just making our best guesses with the information we have.  And that’s perfectly OK.  With more information must come greater permission to adjust.  (When I was in high school I had my heart set on a Plymouth Prowler.  Needless to say, I never got one and feel GREAT about it.)   
Learning and experiencing should change you.  If you want the same thing you wanted five years ago, for the same reasons, there’s a problem somewhere.  Why haven’t you gotten it yet?

As you accept your exit and move onto the next thing, wonder and think what it’s preparing you for.

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