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To the class of 2024: Let life happen

Life is full of ups and downs, so don't let the bad moments be all-consuming.
Life is full of ups and downs, so don't let the bad moments be all-consuming.

The COVID kid class of 2024 is about to graduate. As a member of this unique cohort, I’ve been experiencing some intense fear and loathing for my future after May graduation.

College can be a time filled with great experiences, but also with difficult decisions and hard truths. Not everything works out. Friendships get tough. Getting a job is a miserable experience for many. 

As I enter my final semester here at Miami University, I’m reminding myself to be more present and realize that all the tough parts of these past four years have led me to where I am now. I'm reminding myself not to dwell on the challenges of these next several months.

It’s easy to overthink those crappy moments; I do it constantly. I’ve had bad arguments with exes that ruined entire months, made bad choices leading to broken friendships and terrible class schedules, and regretted them for too long before using those moments as a platform on which I can propel myself forward. 

If there’s anything I can learn from my first-year experience at Miami, with online classes and hardly any peers on campus, it’s that every moment passes, whether good or bad. While an incredibly stressful time, it helped me make the most of my senior year so far.

I’ve made tremendous friendships with people who share my passions, had new experiences and been to new places, tried new things and expanded my worldview. A lot of that wouldn’t have happened if I let myself dwell on the past the way I did throughout high school. 

Everything that happened in the past is context for the present. Even the most minute details of the present are influenced by the abundance and accumulation of experiences you’ve had in your life. There’s no avoiding it, so why not live in the moment knowing you couldn’t have gotten there without what led to it?

As I and the rest of the class of 2024 begin our job application process and stress over the uncertainty of the future, remember now and then to look up and appreciate today. Don’t let this senioritis-filled, stressful semester take over the fact that you’ve made it this far. 

Spend some time talking with your favorite professors. Go take a walk in the natural areas. Make the most of your time with your friends.

This is all to make one crucial point: let life happen. Bad moments are stepping stones toward the great experiences of our lives. They’re not good reasons to fester in the stress. Though many of our post-graduation futures may not be set in stone, and that can be scary, know that it will all resolve. We’ll all be fine, happy and fulfilled with our lives. 

Go forward this semester with your head held high. Let yourself feel accomplished. Look around and drink it all in as often as possible. The stress that comes from thinking about the future means you’ve made something great of these past four years, and what’s to come will be all the more great because of it.

So, to my fellow May graduates: enjoy this semester. Be happy with the life you’ve built for yourself. Don’t take it too seriously. Live in these moments as much as you can.

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Devin Ankeney is a senior double-majoring in journalism as well as media and communication with a history minor from Scarsdale, New York. They have been with The Student for three years and are currently the Opinion Editor, Business Manager and a multi-section contributor.