Take some time to explore, travel after graduation

Skye J. Lyon

Having three “soul draining” retail jobs, two trips to Europe and one looming sum of debt that I will never recover from, almost six years worth into my undergraduate work solidifies how I desperately need a year off once I attain my degree in hand.

And so do you.

It baffles me to find fellow peers fret over menial concerns such as delving into a lifelong career immediately or struggling to find the perfect graduate school while barely scraping through a 20-unit workload.

You battled with the best for four years. Now is the time for reflection and introspection.

If you are in my scenario—a devoted student who has spent, what seemingly feels like a lifetime, at a small wooden desk typing, crying, and striving for academic perfection day in and day out, the greatest way to reward yourself is to respect your limits.

Who cares if your friends have everything planned out a year from now, 5 years from now, or even 10 years in advance. Good for them.

Spoken through my first-hand account, life best happens when pleasure is thrown into the mix of the chaos.

Look at graduation as a gentle exhale.

Our ending is an opportunity to tackle the possibilities that lie in the unknown that every professor or commencement speaker has explained to be grand and intimidating.

Save up as much money as you can these last few months we have remaining and plan a trip to Europe—or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

As cliché as it may sound, planning the “adventure of a lifetime”—even if that maybe a road trip to “Beautiful British Columbia” or flying south of the border for some well-deserved R&R—can prove to be the best “lesson plan” you have ever observed transpiring outside of any class taken.

Foreign destinations and its peoples are the only professors you have ever needed to learn from.

Keep this in mind.

It is not through grades in which we are graded on in our life, but through the tenacity we have within ourselves to pursue a life worth living.

In fact, once Oregon State University becomes nothing more than a framed piece of paper mounted in your office years from now, it will be through all we have seen and endured in our lifetime which will gauge our wealth, not our degree nor our career path.

My final piece of advice?

One year is all you need.

Do not remain pigeonholed in your ambivalence—hell, do not remain fixed here in Oregon.

Our Pacific Northwest gem is breathtaking, yes; however, our life is too short and this world is too vast to continue dredging through same state you were raised.

Life through travel will take you to places unimaginable and teach you lessons invaluable if you just allow for it to sweep you away.

The opinions expressed in Lyon’s column do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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