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An Open Letter to the Graduating Candy Girl Who’s Afraid of What’s Next

So you've finally graduated. Now what?
PHOTO Walt Disney Pictures

First of all, congratulations! After years of hard work, you are now on your way to bigger and better things. I understand that you may be a scared of what’s going to happen next, of these so called “bigger and better” things, because now that you think about it, four years of school work stress is probably nothing compared to the future looming in front of you after graduation, right? Here’s my advice to you–feel the fear, but face it anyway. All graduates experience this crisis of figuring out where to go after the diploma has been earned, what course to pursue in college, what university to study in, what career to pursue after college–it’s like a never ending cycle of more questions. And so, the next best thing you can do is to explore. By now, you probably have a sense of what you’re good at. Use this knowledge to make the decision of where to go next. Can’t think of anything that you’re good at? Think about what you like doing and start there. After all, talent is nothing if you don’t have the dedication to hone it. Begin with your interests, because that way, you’ll be sure that you’ll like what you’ll do.

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But what if things don’t work out and you end up resenting yourself and hating what you’ve pursued? I’m telling you, it’s okay to change your mind. Sure, it will take you back to square one, but even that’s better than finishing the game and realizing that you don’t even like playing it in the first place–because by then, you’ll end up with nothing but empty pride for all you’ve done. 

But what if you’ve tried everything you can think of and now you just feel tired? By all means, take a breather. Step back and think of where you’ve gone and where you see yourself going next. Again, it’s okay to change your mind. Take a rest and do more exploring. Reinvent yourself. 

After everything, don’t forget to get back on your chosen track, because giving up would be like resigning yourself to fear and laziness. Walt Disney said it best when he said to “keep moving forward,” and please do. Keep working until you find a passion so strong that you won’t feel like it’s work. Keep improving yourself, because you know that there are infinite ways you can be a better version of who you currently are. Keep dreaming, keep exploring, keep doing–because that’s the best way to find yourself, and because that’s the best way to fight the crippling fear and self-doubt that comes with graduation. And always, always, remember that if you do your part, things are going to turn out just 
fine. Best of luck, Candy Girls!

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About the author
Lausanne Barlaan
Candymag.com Correspondent
I'm a Candy Girl because I am a modern day Elle Woods, refusing to be boxed by stereotypes. Liking pink and other girly things does not mean I can’t do things society does not expect of me. I am a Candy girl because having flaws do not limit me from chasing my dreams and standing up for what I believe in. I can showcase my smarts and skills, all while looking my best.
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