Commencement 2017

After four years of college, I finally have it all figured out

Ricki served as a web editor, senior editor for print, and a features editor for print. She spent most of her time at NBN trying to convince Moe from the Deuce to let her profile him. He respectfully declined.

Oh, you don’t? Well, try not to worry too much. Some people just take a little more time than others, I guess. I’m sure you’ll figure something out…

When I arrived at Northwestern in the fall of 2013, I immediately knew I had found the right place for myself. I declared my major, minor and track at Medill within my first month, and I was on my way. I never doubted or regretted those decisions at any point. I joined an appropriate number of extra-curricular activities – all of which I gave my best effort and undivided attention – that were both enjoyable and suitable for résumé building.

After leaving one paper to the last minute, I realized my strong preference for getting things done ahead of time, and simply began doing that instead. Soon after, I found a healthy balance between schoolwork and friends. I never missed a night out to do work, and I never underperformed on an exam because of a night out. Now, after four years of uninterrupted academic and social growth, I am prepared – no, eager – to move on to the next chapter of my life.

Four years at Medill and countless internships (have you seen my LinkedIn?) have allowed me to fully flesh out my career goals and enter the working world with confidence and purpose. I have a clear vision of what I’d like my first job to be and exactly how it will evolve into my dream job. I intend on keeping my entry-level position for a year or two, and then moving up the editorial ranks in a steady and  appropriately-timed fashion. My work will be meaningful yet enjoyable, stimulating yet manageable. I will be consistently challenged, but rarely overwhelmed. I will once again strike the ideal work-life balance, which, thanks to college, I have already mastered.

What is perhaps most important is that I am leaving undergrad with a deep and thorough understanding of myself. These four years of emotional exploration – definitely without any help from a therapist – have allowed me to acquaint myself with the depths of my inner psyche. I know what makes me tick, and when I do occasionally have a moment, I have it perfectly under control. Control is actually something I’ve found I have a lot of, and there is certainly not an issue here with wanting too much of it. No, not at all. I’ve come to realize that while I do prefer to have a plan, I like to sprinkle my life with just the right amount of spontaneity.

Now that I know that about myself, the execution is easy. With the self-discovery phase of my life now officially behind me, I can move on to adulthood with a strong sense of self and an undying loyalty to my deepest values.

Real world, here I come! Bring me your independence and your self-sufficiency, your utility bills and weekly grocery shopping. I am ready for you.

But that’s just me. I’m sure you’ll be fine, too…

Published on June 14, 2017

Produced by Alex Duner

Edited by Morgan Kinney, Tanner Howard and Ashley Wood

© 2017 North by Northwestern