365 Days After Graduation: A Letter to the Class of 2020


It’s miraculous how another 365 days has managed to defy my awareness again. Just like that, it’s been a year since I graduated from college. There have been just a few small changes since then…

For starters, I traveled to 2 new continents (Australia and Asia) and 5 new countries (New Zealand, Australia, India, Thailand, Cambodia) and made a pit stop in England along the way. Most of that trip I did alone – a tremendous experience for personal growth. I moved to another continent, became a freediving instructor, and finally got back on track with writing this dang blog (long overdue, I know). 

Who I was a year ago would not tell you she could accomplish any of the things I have today, or even have the courage to. It’s been a big year since I graduated, and I’m proud of the path I have chosen. Although not without its flaws, these 365 days have been the best so far.

Shutting their laptops after online commencement, college graduates this year face a much more unstable future than I did at the time. If I thought this past year brought big changes, the next will surely bring even more. I hope that my experiences from this past year might help someone enjoy their next. Congratulations, class of 2020, and good luck.

  1. ‘Real world’ is a term coined by people that adhere to theoretical societal norms. They try to define a ‘successful’ job and a life algorithm young adults are supposed to follow – full-time job, kids before 30, comfortable 401k. Ignore them. Your world is the real world.
  2. Live alone. Talk about valuable time with yourself. Living alone taught me a) how to enjoy time with myself and b) what kind of person I am. Early or late riser? Messy or clean? Cook or take out? What do you like to do when the house is quiet and you are alone?
  3. Your lifestyle is not for everyone. Do not try to match the speed or form of others.
  4. Mom still knows best. Even on the other side of the world, I call her for advice about medicine, food, boys and everything in between.
  5. Sometimes you have to ditch ‘the plan’ and start over. Life has a inconvenient habit of throwing curve balls at us *cough* hello COVID *cough*, but sometimes these curve balls are a sign that it’s time for us to try a different direction!
  6. You never remember the hard work, just the reward.
  7. Smash your comfort zone. The things that are uncomfortable or intimidating are often those that help you grow!
  8. It’s OK to lose touch with people you went to college with. It takes a lot of work to keep up with people when they aren’t living next door. Not everyone is worth your time, but let the people you care about know that they are!

And the most important one yet…

  1. You didn’t ‘change,’ you just grew into who you are supposed to be.

Well, friends, that’s all I have for you. Time to get adventuring!

More to explorer

Snapshot: 7 days on the Algarve

Portugal’s Algarve is one of the spectacular coastal locations in the country, with dramatic cliffs and sparkling blue water. Take a mini-trip via some of my favorite film shots.

A winter sea song

This is a little something I wrote over the winter of 2021, after returning to my hometown in New Jersey. It had

3 Responses

  1. You have such a way with words Sophie,it’s always interesting to read your blog as it always give one food for thought.Safe trip home Grandma🌞

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