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Graduation Advice from Philip Wang

Friends come and go, but it doesn’t make any of them less valuable while they were with you.

I think one of the main topics overlooked in post-graduation advice is in regard to friends. One of the most jarring things for me when I graduated was the fact that after everyone had moved home or away; those buddies who were just a 10 min walk around the block, or down the street, were no longer so close. Everyone got separated and I was faced with being on my own and having to reset. Add that on top of being uncertain about your career and future, and you’re looking at a very difficult transition.  If you moved home, there’s the awkward time when you try to reconnect with old high school friends. If you moved away, you’re in a city where the closest person you might happen to know is a 30 minute drive away. No more quick meet up for dinner. The convenience is gone. But that’s when you will see who is really important to you.

Do not fear, in the years after you graduate you will make new friends.  It might take some time, but it will happen. Most of my friends after graduating were people who I didn’t know in school, despite the fact that we went to the same college – they were “friends of friends.” You’ll meet new people at your job or your new school. It’s the same cycle all over again. Pretty soon you’ll have a new group of friends; sure, maybe not as conveniently to see as when you were in the dorms, but you’ll get used to it.

And as life never progresses without change, that group of friends will most likely change again as well. People will move away to new jobs, or schools, or for families. So don’t get too worked up… this initial shock in your group of friends will be the first of more, but I guarantee you, I promise you… the friendships you truly care about will always be there, even if they exist only as special memories.

More advice from ISA here.

Congratulations, Graduates!

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