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Student Blog: Dear Class of 2021

It may feel like everything is falling apart, but I promise everything will be ok!

Student Blog: Dear Class of 2021

Dear High School Graduates,

I write this to you from the plane as I fly back to Irvine for my last 10 weeks of college. First I want to say I'm proud of you! You have been through so much this past year and I'm sure this is not how you imagined your senior year to be. You should be so proud of yourself for making it to the end and thrilled for what comes next!

Four years ago, I was in your shoes. I was a wide-eyed 17 year old, full of eager hope, excitement and fear, but ready for whatever came next after high school graduation. I know it's scary leaping into the unknown, but I promise you, it will all be ok.

College decisions are coming out and you are making choices for your future. You may not get into your dream school or everywhere you applied; you may not even want to go to school to begin with and that's ok. I know sometimes there are no words to be said that will make the rejection hurt less and it's ok to feel sad. Just know that everything happens for a reason and you will end up exactly where you are supposed to. I believe nothing happens by accident or by mere coincidence. Sometimes we are destined for a different place in the world than we dreamt up for ourselves. Keep an open mind and know that just because you don't fit into the criteria of a certain school doesn't mean you aren't smart or overall amazing, you were just meant to shine somewhere else in the universe.

You may feel lost or not know what you want to do next. What 17 year old has their life completely planned out perfectly to the T and actually lives out their life the same exact way they planned it? The reality is they don't. Life is full of surprises, we grow as people, and our interests change as we change. I went into school thinking I was going to have a minor in business until I went on a performance tour in Italy for my Dance Major and found a love in writing. I am now graduating with a minor in Literary Journalism. Change is good. It means we are learning and growing. Changing your plans doesn't mean you failed, it means you found something else that makes you happier than you were.

You might feel pressured by your parents or those around you to do or be something you aren't. You may feel obligated to fill the shoes of an older sibling or parent. You are not your mom, dad, sister, or brother you are you, so why should you hold yourself to what they did or are doing? A cat doesn't hold themselves to the standards of a bird, that would be silly because they are their own completely different animal. You are making your own way in this world as one-of-a-kind. Don't let anyone make you feel bad or guilty for not doing what they want or what they did. You have to do what you want and more importantly what makes you happy because at the end of the day it's your life and your journey not theirs! So you do you, live your best life and block the haters!

These feelings are normal, we're all scared out of our minds and no one has it together! Some people are just better at hiding it. We all question the choices we make and hope we're picking the right path. No one knows what they are doing, we are just doing our best! This is an exciting time when you are entering the world and can explore countless different interests and find who you were always meant to be.

The best advice I can give you is to listen to your heart (it's about your heart and no one else's) and go where it takes you, take risks even if you may fail, and don't wait around for tomorrow to be the person you want or dream of being. There is no special one-size-fits-all formula for success in life. Everyone is different and you have to carve your own path!

Today I feel similar feelings as I start my last quarter of college at University of California, Irvine. The future is unknown and sometimes scary, but I'm taking it one day at a time and knowing that everything will work out exactly the way it's supposed to, because sometimes that's all you can do.

Congratulations class of 2021, I hope this gives you a little piece of mind!

Always,

Claire Desenberg


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