It’s that time of year again. All over Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, people are graduating college. What an exciting time it is, and I commend everyone who has earned their degree. A year from now I will be graduating, and in the following years my social media feed will be full of caps and gowns from my peers. At that point, society will deem us newly minted alumni ready to take on the “real world,” ready to change the world.
People come out of college with many hopes and dreams, only to settle because they think that its the right path. The word graduation comes from the Latin word meaning to step up, but what are we stepping up to? Are we going to take on a career that truly make us feel accomplished, or are we just trying to fulfill society’s expectation for us?
The more I see the world, the more I become disillusioned with what I been told on how to live my life. Every undergraduate student has heard the following: Go to school, get a job, find a significant other, have kids so they can do the same, and so on. They even made a board game called Life about it. But what about all those other people who went in a different direction, a road less traveled. Usually they are chastised by their peers for being misguided. “Stay in line, play it safe,” people say. But sometimes, those decisions end up being stupid ones and all the naysayers become actually right. Well.. So What? At least those people had the courage to take a risk and had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes; learn something that could lead to their success in their future.
Now please, do not interpret this as a message to rebel against the world and do as you please. Compromise is an action that is as certain as dying and paying taxes. We all have to come to grips with it and fighting these necessary processes only leads to disaster down the road. If we do not pay our taxes, then institutions vital to our daily lives would not function. Also, it would be best if we accept our morality before we do something foolish. Accepting compromise is just something we all have to do because if you refuse, than you can find yourself alone real quick.
Yet, there is a fine line between compromising in a single instance and compromising on your values. It is a tightrope that we all must balance on. But from what I have observed, the most successful and fulfilled people I know do this with the utmost balance. They know when it is the time to compromise and when to stay true to themselves.
So to all the graduates out there, good luck. I hope you never give up on your dreams, have the courage to take risks in the face of tremendous doubt, and attain the wisdom to know when to adjust.