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How to Feel Like a Graduating Senior

It’s graduation season — that time when the air is filled with commencement speeches encouraging us to embark on new adventures and follow our passions, whatever they may be. It’s energizing and exciting to watch new graduates move from a learning environment into the workforce, full of possibility and promise.

As we grow, it’s imperative to create those new beginnings in our adult lives as well. These are defined points in time where we end a phase of accomplishment, celebrate, decide what’s next, and move into a new version of ourselves.

So how can we create space at junctures in our own lives to stop and experience the energy of possibility, when there is no formal event to mark the occasion?

The answer is to simply set your own milestones. Declare yourself a graduate from your current situation at designated points in time.

Graduation Caps Thrown in the Air

You have to create your own timelines and sense of accomplishment around this!

The pursuit of reaching the point of graduation motivates students and holds them accountable. It keeps everything in motion as they move toward their goals. They may reach graduation day having experienced many trials and difficulties, but once they get there, they will begin anew from a more knowledgeable place.

As professionals, oftentimes we can become complacent, allowing years to pass without any real notable career moments. We may even be too busy in our jobs or entrepreneurial ventures to stop and evaluate where we are currently and where we are headed.

Both of these states, complacency and busyness, drain our energy. For that reason, it is even more important to create deadlines. Give yourself permission to start fresh, reset your goals, and establish an optimistic perspective and momentum toward something new. Whether or not you believe there is anything to celebrate, it may be time to move on to your next stage of development. Here are a few signs that it’s time to set a graduation date of your own:

  1. You have been successful and happy in your career, and have reached some of your goals. It’s time to assess what is next.
  2. You feel like you’ve been on a treadmill and don’t really enjoy what you do. You don’t know where you would like to be in your current career.
  3. You feel the itch to make a change and need to reflect on what you might want to do next.

Whichever one of these categories you fall under, you will need time to focus on what you have been doing, learning, and achieving, while also researching and making decisions about next steps. Creating the time and gathering support for this effort is the graduation gift you give yourself.

This graduation might result in a dramatic change or only a slight internal shift in your life. Still, the goal is to get a sense of excitement and optimism for whatever the next chapter is to pull you forward. Creating your own graduation scenario every four years is not only a well-deserved celebration of yourself and your hard work, but a new jumping-off point that will keep you feeling like a bright future lies ahead.