Graduation and Looking Ahead

 

This post in itself is a bit late, since I did graduate at least a week and a bit ago but I figured it would be a good way to get back into writing again. I’m a GRADUATE…It’s amazing to think that I’ve actually finished a 5 year program already, it almost feels like yesterday that I finished high school and headed to a new city to start school.

graduation

I have to say that it was interesting to head back to school after a month or so to “officially” graduate despite already feeling like I had finished. I was pretty nonchalant about it before I got there but then it really hit me, this was the end of my undergrad career. All in all the ceremony was a lot shorter than I thought (WOO!) and the opportunity to trip on stage was minimal. BUT it was also the day where it really sunk in, I’ve graduated and really won’t be seeing my former classmates every day anymore. I’ll also unlikely be back in Guelph as frequently (about an hour or so away from T.O) even though it was a great city that was my home for about 5 years. As a recent graduate I figure I should discuss some things I’ve learned and of course my plans for after grad.

What I Learned After 5 Years of University

1. Sh*tty Situations Can Turn into Opportunities

I’ve played sports for the majority of my life (even a bit longer than I’ve been at school) and carried that forward when I went to university. I played 3 years of varsity soccer after recovering from ACL surgery in 2008 before I came to school. Unfortunately my knee started to irritate me again after my 3rd year and lead to me making the tough decision (after being pretty stubborn about it for a while) to quit soccer. That lead to an excellent opportunity and a much clearer schedule to take on new things, and lots of them of course, because that’s just how I roll.

soccer

Rocking my knee brace while playing soccer at the University of Guelph

In my 4th year I joined the Entrepreneurship Society at UofG which lead to the amazing opportunity to become the President in my 5th year which was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had at school. I also started writing this blog oh and got really academically involved including joining a business case competition team, and going to a variety of conferences. Networking became my middle name. All in all I learned that a crappy situation can really turn into something or many amazing opportunities.

2. Network!

Self explanatory, this will help you when searching for jobs and are very important especially those that are in business. Check out conferences, connect with friends of friends and make use of LinkedIn, no job board/posting can replace a networked relationship. And just for that, you should connect with me on LinkedIn

3. No Regrets

Whether it’s going out for that final Thursday to your favourite bar or starting your own business. Do it when you have the freedom and flexibility to do so, university is a unique time in our lives where possibilities are endless and you have less responsibilities. It’s also something I’ll be carrying forward after graduation simply because life is short, we should all make the most of it.

4. Work smarter, not harder

This is something that I still need to work on, but I’ve definitely been improving on since I started university. It’s important to work hard-yes, but working smarter is even better and leaves you a lot less stressed and allows you to accomplish more with your time.

5. Be strategic

Whether it’s building your resume to lead you to the career or job that you want or making sure you have enough $’s in the bank for whatever trip you want to do. It’s important to plan and think strategically about what you really want out of life or your time at university. It’s definitely something that I’ll still be doing after graduating, because life is really only getting started.

Post Graduation

Starting Work in September

I’ve taken the summer off but will be starting a job in sales in September which I’m really excited for. It should be interesting given that I will almost be my own “boss” and meeting customers on a regular basis and building on my marketing skills. I also will be buying/leasing a car soon in order to work which leads to my next point..

Financial Planning & Investing

I’ve dabbled a bit in stocks here and there but really want to start building a portfolio and taking advantage of my TFSA’s. Hopefully being able to purchase a house within 2-3 years would also be a amazing so I’ll be saving for that (through investments of course). Overall I really feel like I’ve got this whole frugal thing down, but furthering my investment knowledge is really important moving forward.

Fun & Travel

Given that I’ve had the summer off I’ve decided to head on out to Greece for a 3 1/2 week adventure in July/August. Overall I’m really excited for it since we’ll be island hopping and getting on whatever ferry we choose that day. Seems like I’ll be coming home and most likely have the travel bug after that which means I’ll be travelling a bunch more after I start work. And of course I’m going to start to really experience the city of Toronto. Despite living here all of my life (I don’t live downtown) I haven’t gone to a lot of the really interesting neighborhoods or really explored like I should. My friends and I have an unofficial list that just keeps growing but it’s exciting to check out such an amazing city.

There are quite a few other things that I’m sure I will be looking forward to or considering later on. That’s probably one of the most exciting things about graduation, the possibilities are endless. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2014!

What are your plans after graduation?

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