Why Graduation Isn't The End, It's the Beginning

* This article was originally posted on The Student Affairs Hub.

Graduation is a huge life milestone that is a mix of so many emotions for college students: excitement, fear, accomplishment, sadness, and anticipation all come to mind. It can feel like the end of something, which it is, but it is also the beginning of an era of endless possibilities for students. Once you have the time, knowledge, income, and courage to do so, life after college can be even more full than one's life at their institution. The world awaits all the recent graduates to do whatever they so choose, and it's something students should work hard to take full advantage of.
As higher education faculty and staff members, here are three key pointers to give to your students in order to encourage their personal growth and their thirst for learning after college."Keep on Being a Student"

There are numerous ways to keep on learning in the classroom like you're used to. You can keep taking one off classes at institutions near you, you can take classes online with established colleges and universities, or you can take advantage of the plethora of other web-based learning tools. Everything from Lynda.com, udemy, Codecademy, or even YouTube can help you learn new skills, master new software or tools, or even just learn some fun trivia. A lot of things can be found for free too, which is even more awesome!

"Travel the Country (and the World!)"


Whether for business or for pleasure, traveling around to new places can be an amazing learning experience. Even just going to visit a friend in a new city locally can help you understand more about what makes us all different and what makes us all the same. You can take in local sights, museums, fairs, festivals, and shows to build a list of cool and unique experiences to the fabric of your life. It's hard to capture the immense importance of traveling, but it's such a great way to become more acutely aware of the world that you just can't replicate. I encourage you to get out as much as you reasonably can so you can learn and grow as a person (and have some fun in the process!).

Since graduating and being done with college for the foreseeable future, it's been nice to have the time to read for pleasure. Some of you may not want to see another book for a while, but trust me that it is a tried and true (and often cheap) avenue to better yourself. There are classic works, new writing by cool current authors, and even several comic books (I'm personally a big fan) that can convey some deep concepts that enlighten you to morals about life. I've always heard that it doesn't matter what you read, it's that you read. So by all means, it can be that you read a lot of articles online about any number of things, just make sure you're keeping current on the world and reading something every once in a while for pleasure. You'll thank yourself later for it.

If you follow these tips in whatever way makes sense for you, you'll grow, learn, and be active mentally (and physically) which will help you better achieve any other goals in your life or career that you might have.
Go forth and do good, Class of 2015!



Reflections on Turning 25 & Getting My Master's

IMG_0904This past week, I hit some pretty big life milestones; I turned 25 years old and I obtained my Master's degree after two years of hard work. It has been a whirlwind few weeks with the end of the semester and I just got back from a very relaxing vacation away with the lovely lady you see above. As I get back to reality, I find myself wanting to reflect on everything and how I feel at this important point in my life. First, the degree (since that happened first). I've been a student for 19 years straight, that's twelve years of school to get my high school diploma, five years of undergraduate study to get my bachelor's, and two years of study to get my master's. This is the first time in a long time I don't have to register for classes, worry about paying tuition, or having the structure of school controlling my life. While I'm still going into higher education and will have the academic year hovering over my life for the foreseeable future, it won't be as a student (not unless I get my doctorate at some point in the far future). I had a brief moment over the week of closing ceremonies and convocations where I felt a sense of relief. It came from knowing that these degrees I've obtained and mainly my master's, something I never would have thought years ago I would achieve, is mine and can never be taken away from me. That accomplishment, after years of hard work was very satisfying. I'm not a boisterous person and this was my own personal celebration that happened in my head as I sat down after walking across the stage at graduation this past week.

A few days after graduation, I turned 25. I had been joking for months that this is perfectly timed to have a big quarter life crisis, with such big life moments happening all at once. Thankfully I feel affirmed in my path and excited for the future, so this is not the case. I tend to be more mature than some of the others my age so this birthday was actually welcomed, as I feel like my actual age is catching up with my beliefs, habits, and perspectives. I'm excited to be older and continuing to learn from life's experiences. I feel like I've learned a lot and grown so much within just the past few years being on-campus at both Delaware and Rutgers, so I can't wait for what is to come.

My life is still taking shape as I look for a job and the next chapter of my life. I know that I don't know everything about anything. There is plenty still that I want to do in this world, and I look forward to the horizon optimistically at what the next 25 years have in store.


EDIT: Check out the story of my job search to read about the recent, epic conclusion!

Thanks for stopping by, and have an amazing day!

What I'm Geeking Out About This Week - 05/23/14

whatdoyougeekHey everyone! Here is my week in geek!

I'm getting more excited for this movie as the buzz becomes overwhelmingly positive. It is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes (click above) with impressive marks from critics and audiences alike. I was worried it was going to be too busy and fall under its own weight (like Amazing Spider-Man 2 started to do), but this movie seems to get the complex story right. I'll be seeing it this weekend so I look forward to sharing more detailed thoughts later.

  • Graduation

I just have to share briefly this milestone (which I'll delve into deeper with a separate post) that I recently graduated with my Master's of Education in College Student Affairs from Rutgers University. It was the final ceremony for a week full of good vibes with convocations and commencements for myself and my partner. It is always really great seeing excited graduates and proud families at all of these events. Never fails to put a smile on my face! Cheers to all the other graduates out there this year!

So I was originally born in Maine but I consider myself more from Delaware, since I grew up there for 20+ years. I went to school there (college included), made a lot of memories there, and always like to go back when I can to either visit my brother or swing by the University of Delaware. My partner and I had the great idea to take a long weekend down here for my birthday and our graduations, so I am currently enjoying some sun by the beach in Delaware. I got to see my Mom (who is visiting from Maine) and my brother, which is a rare treat and I am very happy! I encourage you all to check out the "First State" and let me know if you need some recommendations. It is a small but mighty state that I know you'd have a good time at if you're looking for a quiet, relaxing time away.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!