A good chunk of our staff is graduating this semester. Some of us are coming back for graduate school, some are not returning to staff, others are moving on. I am a part of the latter.
I have been on an emotional roller coaster this semester, but not because I’m sad about leaving (sorry, guys). I’m more focused on how I don’t have a job lined up and what I’m going to do after this. I’ve been ready to move on since I started my senior year. I love to experience new things, so I am anticipating this change. But change is scary when you don’t have a plan.
That being said, I have a few pieces of advice from things I’ve learned leading The Arka Tech for those willing to read my ramblings.
DON’T TAKE YOURSELF SO SERIOUSLY
People are labeling themselves more and more as “awkward.” I say own it. I am one of those who is actually awkward. I’m quirky, dorky and punny. People don’t always get me. I’ve let that affect my work and my confidence in the past, but I’ve learned that if you just count to five after an awkward moment and move on, it doesn’t matter. It’ll pass. Don’t beat yourself up.
On the other side of the spectrum, you are not the most incredible person in the room. Ever. If you think that, you are closing off your mind to so many opportunities. Remind yourself that there is always room to grow. If you don’t know that, you will get knocked off of your high horse at some point. But then again, everyone gets a cruel slap of humility at some point in his or her life. So when it happens, own up to it and move on to be a better person.
STOP TELLING YOURSELF YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH
I have doubts about jobs I’ve applied for or am thinking about applying for. How am I qualified? Sure, I have experience, but that was in college. How am I going to be good enough for a real job?
If you’re thinking like that, pretend I just slapped you. Stop it. Dream big. Apply to jobs, make good impressions, take risks. What will you gain from holding back? The worst they can say is “thanks, but no thanks.”
BE GENUINE AND CARE ABOUT OTHERS
In my opinion, relationships are more important than climbing the ladder. If you can’t be a team player, no one will want to work with you. Set aside your personal issues (vent those feelings to a friend or significant other at home) and do good work.
It’s hard. It takes dedication and patience. But you will not go far if you cannot work well with others. Care about them, ask them about their life and remember that you are not the greatest thing alive (see: “Don’t take yourself so seriously”).
AND LASTLY, SOME PARTING WORDS TO MY STAFF
I’m not good at talking, but I’m good at writing. So here goes nothing.
I’m quirky, awkward, funny? Please think I’m funny. Everything I say is to make you guys laugh. I’m only partly joking…
I love you guys. You have been the most incredible staff to lead. You are passionate; you care so much. I only know that because our meetings are so, so long. I would rather have long meetings with great discussion than short meetings where I just hand out assignments. Whatever you do after you graduate, don’t let that passion die.
And truthfully, I am sad to be leaving. But I’ve been your fearless leader (that was a joke) for three semesters. It’s time to pass the torch.