Dear Fairfield Class of 2007:

First of all, big congratulations. I know you’ve been hearing a lot of crap along the lines of “You have done so much! You are so lucky! You have ACHIEVED!!” I really don’t want to add to that, but it’s true.

There are always going to be a few Fairfielders who hold a bitterness in their heart for being rejected from BC or Holy Cross, and they’ve never let go of it over the course of four years. It’s dragging them down, whether it’s instilled by their parents, comparisons to siblings, or deep-rooted inadequacy.

FORGET all that.

Do you know how incredibly lucky you are to have been born in America, the country where ANYONE can be successful if he or she works hard, and to graduate from Fairfield, a university that must be among the top 100 in the nation?

What if you had been born in rural China or Chad, an area where education is not supported?

You’re so lucky. Never forget that. When you’re going into job interviews, fretting over the wording of your internships or the difference between cum laude and magna cum laude, remember that.

Times can be bad, and times can be great, but overall, Fairfield is a great school that takes its academics and especially the Jesuit ideals seriously.

Also, if you survived senior week, you know exactly the same thing that I found out: that every minute of your drinking life, you were preparing your liver for THIS WEEK. You’ve pushed yourself to new levels. And if you’re still living, you know that you will very likely never do that to such an extreme again.

Now, it’s time for the jobs.

Since I graduated a year ago, I’ve learned some things about entering the workforce. I wish I had known them at the time, so please take a chance to read them.

–Don’t do a temp-to-perm job unless you’re passionate about the company and the position in particular. If not, you just end up working for less with no benefits and no vacation time.

–There is no shame in living at home right away. Most people do it, for a few months, at least, and the ones that don’t do it often have their parents partially paying for their apartments and living expenses. While that can be nice, do you really want to be living on your own, but not by your own financial means?

–Be mature, and be honest with yourself. Don’t get an apartment before you’re sure that you can afford it. Remember that you need first, last and security.

–You don’t have to get a job right away! Just because your business- and nursing-major friends have jobs lined up, it doesn’t mean you have to grab the first job that you’re offered. You probably got a TON of graduation money. Live on that for a while. Travel, if you can. This is your last chance to have a lot of free time.

–The best way to find job offerings is 1) through the websites of companies that interest you 2) through Craigslist. Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com require companies to pay to post jobs, so most of the jobs have high turnover or are difficult to fill for quality reasons.

–Your colleagues will become your very good friends, if you’re lucky. (My priority was to find a large company with lots of people my age. I did, and it’s great!) Enjoy your friendships, but also know when to draw the line between business and pleasure.

–Keep dreaming. Be unconventional. I’m planning my RTW — just because you’re working right now, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck until retirement!

–That being said, don’t believe what people say about the real world. It can be a lot of fun. I’m enjoying it. 🙂

I’m so proud of you all. Congratulations.

**EDIT**

One thing I forgot to mention is that it HURTS like crazy right now. I know. I spent my graduation lunch with my family in tears, just thinking about how much I would miss my friends and how I’d hardly ever see them again. I couldn’t stop crying.

It hurts. But it gets better.

Also, if you got tagged in this note and then untagged, I apologize; I tagged all of my friends in the class of 2007, then realized that facebook has a tag limit. So I downsized a bit. Apologies. But know that all of you are in my thoughts right now.

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