Dear Class of 2017 Friars,
In the words of Adele, “Hello from the other side.” It is hard to believe that only two years ago I was sitting in your shoes. I can recall feeling a sea of mixed emotions that I imagine you must be going through right now—scared, nervous, excited, impatient, and needing answers.
However, I am here to reassure you that this “real world”and whole “adulting” concept really is not so bad. Yes, you will not have as many friends living in close proximity to you, and it may be a little more difficult to order Big Tony’s at 1 a.m., but you will grow to appreciate your four years spent at Providence College even more. While I recognize that I am still no “expert” on navigating the real world and am only a couple of years older, I have provided some tid-bits of advice to help you relax and become excited for the journey ahead!
1. You can still lead an exciting social life in the post-grad world. I remember thinking that after graduating from PC, I would be home twiddling my thumbs on a Saturday night. From my experience at least, the opposite has happened! If you are fortunate like me to work in the same city as your PC friends and also have your friends from high school still in the area, then your social circles will only expand.
Also, you will continue to meet new people through your co-workers, volunteering in your community, and even familiar faces from fitness classes at your gym. Additionally, if you meet up with friends from PC after work, and they bring their friends from high school and their co-worker friends, and then you invite your high school friends who invite their college friends, before you realize, you will have so many new people to meet!
2. Living at home with your parents is not the worst thing. In all honesty, it is one of the best things! Cannot complain about not having to write a check out each month for rent or your mom’s home-cooked meals!
3. Sometimes the best laid plans go awry. I speak from personal experience when my “Plan A” for post-graduation fell through which left me scrambling to figure out a new “Plan B.” But then I realized that this “Plan B” was always meant to be the path I was supposed to take. Do not fret if your “dream” job falls through, it just means that there is something even better out there waiting for you.
4. Your closest PC friendships will only grow stronger. I remember hearing this piece of advice from an alum, and I agree with how true it is! Since you will have to make more of an effort to see some of your friends, your relationships will grow even more meaningful, and when you do see each other, you will pick up from where you left off! Also, you will be thankful for all your group texts—it will be just like you are catching up in Ray!
5. PC is not going anywhere. Friartown will always be there for you to visit…and then you go back scratching your head wondering how campus could change so much in the two short years you have graduated. Also, Alumni Weekend in February will be here before you know it!
6. Enjoy every last minute of your final semester. Do “fun and spontaneous” things with your roommates. Go explore a new spot overlooking the city or re-visit one of your favorite restaurants on Thayer St. Most importantly, make sure to capture these moments on your camera so then you can hang these pictures up in your first cubicle!
7. You will never stop learning. Even if you opt not to go to grad school right after, you will always be learning on your new job. Also, reading for leisure becomes a thing again too!
8. The “Friar Family” is with you wherever you go. I cannot tell you how many informational interviews I have been on where I find out during mid-conversation that the individual I am networking with also graduated from PC.
9. Never be afraid to speak up. Remember sometimes feeling intimidated to participate in Civ seminar because you felt that you had nothing that “enlightening” to contribute? But then once you raised your hand and spoke, you realized that it was not so bad? I believe that you should still possess that same mindset whether you are sitting in a graduate class or your workplace. Never think that just because you are the youngest person sitting at a staff meeting that you have nothing positive to contribute. You are a PC Friar (after all, you survived four semesters of Civ!)
10. It is okay if you do not have things figured out right now, because two years later and you still probably will not either. Navigating life is part of the adventure; where would the excitement be if we had everything figured out from the start?
– Elizabeth Nako ’15