Graduation day came and went last Saturday like a fleeting snowstorm—fast, hurried and mesmerizing. Among my 1,200 or so fellow Ball State grads it’s impossible to say how many of us have jobs, or how many of us are competing for the same jobs.
But despite our career differences, one undeniable factor unites us all: We are at the threshold of adulthood. And with that reality comes greater consequence and responsibility that weighs heavy on our fragile foundations.
Just like the snowflakes in this photo, we are easily swayed—pushed and pulled by the waves of change and circumstance. We need the support and counsel of others, because without it, we would fall in silence and be obliterated when we hit the ground.
The past few weeks of my life have been filled with daunting decisions and expectations. I sit here today fully aware that without the help of my friends and family, I would be drifting off alone into space.
College grad or not, I know I’m not alone when I say that life is hard when everything is left up to me.
Whatever our age, occupation or level of education, etc., it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to have all of the answers. We think clearly and function best when we stick together, because it allows us to process situations through a variety of lenses.
But we can never work together if we’re constantly striving against each other. Even amid these difficult economic times and the ever-changing job market, we need to stop seeing others as competitors and start acting like the team that we are meant to be. Sure, my fellow grads might be applying for the same jobs as me, but they are also human: uniquely made and worthy of love, encouragement and a fair chance. People shouldn’t be dehumanized just because we see them as a threat.
My hunch is that if we start recognizing our peers as teammates, we will become less fragile and afraid. Instead of feeling threatened, our exchanges will make us feel reassured. As teammates, we can let our guard down and take the weight off each other’s shoulders. With this kind of unity and support, we can face thresholds and crossroads feeling confident that even if we crumble, we have a safety net to fall into.