Now what?

Now what?

Graduates, this is it. You’ve done it. You’ve put in the time, the money and the hard work, with grit and talent to prove it. But while your heart is probably a little heavy and proud, your head is more than likely buzzing with one question: What now?

Maybe you’re looking for a temporary job or searching for a long-term career; you may dive into the world or take some time off, or maybe you’re deciding what town or state to call home. It’s a lot to take in, we get it. But guess what? You’re already doing it.

When you graduate from Grand Valley State University, your goal as a student is to make an outstanding Laker Effect, which the university website describes as “a force for positive change” made on GVSU’s students, faculty and the broader community.

While that sounds pretty scary, you’ve been working toward that goal since you stepped foot on campus. Think of every friend you’ve had an impact on, each bit of research or project that took you beyond the classroom or simply the preparation you now have to make waves in the “real world.”

When you look at what the future holds for you and how you’re supposed to tackle it, it’s important to remember that you’ve been making strides toward success since your first year at GVSU.

This time in your life is stressful. It’s supposed to be. But it’s also supposed to be exciting! You have come to GVSU and conquered it. Now, it’s time to conquer something else. While the looming “what now” question never seems to dwindle, it’s important to step back and realize all you’ve done.

That diploma in your hand represents a lot more than your collection of credits. It’s a representation of your collective experiences at GVSU. While graduation may seem like the unwrapping of a series of complex questions and places to fill in the blanks, you can walk the stage knowing that you’ve already made strides and you’ll continue to do so.

Your graduation serves as a reminder that you’ve made it this far, and that the scary question of “what’s next?” has a simple answer:

“I’ve already made my Laker Effect, and I’ll always continue to make waves.”