LIFE AS AN ALUMNI

"How can we convince the next generation that education is the key to success when we have poor graduates and rich criminals?" - Unknown

As a recent graduate still on the hunt to officially start my career, this viral tweet stuck with me for a long time. One of the biggest misconceptions for college students is that once we complete our educational journey, there will be a job waiting for us at the end of the tunnel. Some are fortunate enough to score this rare opportunity, but for the most part it's really time to begin the hustle. 

I vividly remember the first year of entering my campus knowing not one person and hoping to at least find myself in the end. I hunched myself in the classrooms scarred from the bullied days and a little embarrassed at my name being the subject of mockery. The professors who held their Coca Cola in one hand, sat on their desk and unintentionally butchered my name. "Ayeeekatoe? Ahshayou?" They proceeded to say until I phonetically spelt Aïchatou for them so they would have an idea by the last day of class. 

Fast forward several years to turning my tassel from left to right and being so sure that I would land my dream job with seven honors and three majors. I was so used to being graded and ranked that I didn't realize the real world wasn't set up in such structures. I had to go twice as hard to get half of what I thought I deserved. I was not only competing with my 2,000 other graduating classmates but with other schools too. How could I truly stand out and not regret getting an education?

If there is anything I learned about life after college it's that comparison is the thief of joy. Everyone's time zone is different and their blueprint to success is not identical. I had been so used to being graded against my peers in a competitive state that I thought the same when it came to getting a job offer. Yes, there is competition in the job, but a more qualified candidate doesn't mean you're less valuable.

If you are currently in a position where you feel defeated and confused about where you would like to be in life, you're meant to go through this. I believe in things happening the way they are supposed to and teaching us a lesson along the way. So no, you are not alone in this fight, and yes, as a fighter with you I strongly believe it gets better.  

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