Ashley McDonald
January 26, 2015 2:26 pm

In a few months, you’re graduating from the university you’ve grown to adore over the years. This is the place where you met your current best friends (aka your soulmates, because it was fate, obviously). This is the place where you found your niche, your passion, your career path. At this establishment, you transitioned from a nervous teen into a confident, assertive, and independent adult. But that doesn’t make graduation any less difficult. (Cue the waterworks.)

Yeah, it’s going to be tough to say goodbye, but don’t look at it as departing from the greatest period of your life—in fact, you’re actually heading into the best years yet! Here’s why.

Graduation means a fresh start.

Maybe you partied hard for one too many weekends; maybe you had a college boyfriend/girlfriend or even a toxic friend you’d rather not remember. No matter the case, leaving college behind means a brand new slate in a brand new environment where no one knows your past—and you have the power to improve the future. So delete the Facebook pics in which you look like a hot mess and take advantage of tabula rasa.

Graduation means a nice change of scenery.

You left your heart in Little Rock, AR when you took a trip with your family a couple years back. Or maybe you’ve always had a yearning for the East Coast or the mountains or New Orleans or Alaska. The amazing thing about this day and age is how easily anyone can apply for jobs outside of his or her hometown. Sign up for Indeed.com, Monster.com, or SimplyHired.com and get cracking on apps for your dream jobs in your dream locations.

Graduation means new relationships.

It’s completely understandable that you’re already weeping at the thought of moving away from your roomies/besties, but after you dry your tears, consider all of the new connections you’ll be making. Nobody will ever replace your college best friends, but it’s easy to keep in touch in such a socially-inclined world. There are cool people you’ll click with everywhere, and if you keep an open mind, making new friends won’t be any issue at all. Look forward to it!

Graduation means making money.

It may take you a while to score a decent job (completely understandable!), but once you do, you won’t be able to get over the paychecks. Say goodbye to crappy minimum wage-paying jobs where you’re scrubbing sinks. Wave hello to a real career in an office where you can sport adorable pantsuits, blazers, and heels—plus drink coffee on the job. Hell yeah! So empowering.

Graduation means being taken seriously.

When you were building up your resume during undergrad, it was super obnoxious to have to specify you were a student in your cover letters to hiring managers—some potential employers ruled you out because of your schedule or because you weren’t qualified enough. Not to mention, internships weren’t the most fun jobs ever, especially if you didn’t get paid or received only a small stipend after lots of hard work.

No more of that! Now that you have a degree under your belt, employers are going to have a keener eye when reviewing your qualifications. You worked hard for little to no compensation until this point; now you’re about to enter the workforce where you’re viewed as a member of a team rather than a student fetching coffee. Hooray for progress!

Graduation means no more homework.

Kinda obvious, but SUCH a major perk. Not only is there no more homework, but also student projects, tests, quizzes, readings, and all of the other academic baggage that we all loved to hate ceases to exist in your world. You may think a 9-5 job will be even worse, but only if you go into something you’re not passionate about! Which is why it’s so important to only apply to jobs that appeal to your interests. After all, if you’re not happy, what even is life?! Never forget.

(Images viaviaviavia.)

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