Class of 2022 Advice from the DYL Community

Design Your Life
Savannah Peterson

In our last DYL newsletter, we asked you to share your advice to the 2022 graduating class. As usual, we were impressed by your thoughts. Here’s what the community had to say!

From Trevor in Columbu, Ohio, Grad 1995 –

“Don’t feel rushed. Your friends may be starting careers, getting married, buying houses. If this isn’t you, that’s FINE. That’s their path, not yours. There’s no finish line for where you are now…take your time, do what’s right for you. There’s no rush.”

From Gwen, Mechanical Engineer & Owner of BTF Designs –

“Apply to any job that looks interesting, fun or challenging. Don’t stick to only those openings that you meet all the requirements for. Also research the companies you wish to join, and if you find a company you like but no posted openings – email them anyway, ask if they are planning to post any openings soon ect. As always, ‘The Answer’s No, unless you ask!’”

From JP, Grad 2007 –

“Find a challenge to solve, not a job title to fit into.”

From Anonymous, Grad 1988 –

“It does not matter where you begin. Focus on what you learn from each experience. Not just the skills and knowledge but what you learn about yourself….what you like, don’t like, and what you are curious about. Use these insights when you make your next step.”

From Ranjini, Executive Coach in Bangalore, India, Grad 1997 –

“Be Bold. Be Courageous.Take risks and keep learning from mistakes . Don’t forget to have fun . Create your own destiny. You are your life’s designer/architect!”

From Mark, Cedar Rapids, Grad 1987 –

“When you face major decisions, sometimes you have to be willing to bet everything on yourself.  These are the key points of your life.”

From Anonymous, Grad 1995 –

“Remember the Triangle of Health for a better, more productive, and happier life  (something I learned from Stanford’s William Dement and his Sleep and Dreams Course): Eat Health, Exercise Daily, and Enough Sleep. I usually draw this as a triangle with labeled corners and a happy face in the middle:)

From Jess in Chicago, Grad 2008 –

“There is no right answer to the question of what to do with your life. Just the answer you choose and you can always change your mind later!”

From Michael, Host of the Career Cloud Radio Podcast, Grad 2003 –

“Commit to consistent learning. Invest more time, money and energy in yourself than any other thing. Investment in yourself carries a higher return than any other investment vehicle known to mankind.”

From Scott, Career Coach, Grad 1977 –

“Get connected to every one of your classmates, professors and college staff on LinkedIn.”

From Debbie, Grad 1992 –

“Politics is not a gravity problem.  You can do something about issues that are important in this world.  If your life view values something in society and you are turned off by the political noise, prototype an alternative to make change.  You have options to act.  Don’t get stuck.”

From Sarah –

“Congratulations! Way to work hard and play hard to realize your goal of earning your college degree. Your focus on the goal no matter the obstacles will benefit you throughout your life.

What I’ve come to realize is where I’ve chosen to spend my time and with whom plays an enormous role in who I’ve become. I see my family relationships as the most important relationships in my life. I realize I will experience many places and people, yet the memories that leave the greatest impression are the ones when I’ve followed my inner compass.”

From Lara, Regret Coach & Professional Life Designer, Grad 2011 –

“Listen to your gut.

The top 5 regrets of the dying are as follows;
1) “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
2) “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
3) “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
4) “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
5) “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

With these in mind, remember that a BIAS TOWARDS ACTION and REFRAMING are game changing tools in your everyday life.

So grab life by the horns: express yourself, be authentic, always make time for the people who are most important to you, and be a lifelong learner. You’ll never do it all perfectly, there’s no avoiding the up’s and down’s – but there’s a way to live full-heartedly. Embrace your moxie.”

From Anonymous, adapted from Jennifer Gonzalez –

“Look for the marigolds in your life and be a marigold for others.”

From Nicole, HR Professional, Grad 2006 –

“You don’t need to have life figured out when you graduate. Enjoy the journey and focus less on the final destination.“

From Jessica, Kansas City, Grad 2010 –

“Embrace this next step in your life and never stop trying new things! You just never know when you might find your next passion! Congrats!”

From Jrene in Switzerland –

“Ask yourself every now and then: Is it just comfortable here or does it really make me happy?”

From Terry –

“Reconcile your tolerance for risk with that of your boss. Just have a conversation about each other’s tolerance for failure and how failure is viewed within the organization. That knowledge can help guide decisions. But I say take risks and embrace failure if it comes.”

From Melanie in Squamish, Grad 1995 –

“Have another ‘thing’ in your life besides your job. Whether you’re part of a choir, or you play on a sports team, or you volunteer, or something else, it is extremely beneficial to have an identity and a community beyond your ‘job’…”

From Dalena –

“Try to think about just the first year or two of your career. Don’t try to think too long term, or you will be overwhelmed. And, if you’re uncertain about where to start, just pick a direction that interests you. Give it a try, and if it doesn’t work out, then course correct. Little by little, you will learn more about what you enjoy and what you’re good at. No one has to have everything figured out at the very beginning!”

From Sean, Grad 1991 –

“Slow down.  Look around.  Appreciate where you are and who you are with now.  The future is coming, relax and enjoy where you are now.  You will miss it.”

From Brenda, Grad 2021 –

Take life one day at a time. Life may not be all that you hope for, but the process counts. Keep showing up to do what you love.

From Jerry in Houston, Grad 2002 –

“Don’t settle for what others think success is.”

From Carol, Carol Read Consultancy, Grad 1993 –

“Be bold, embrace serendipity, innovate and recognise the world works in amazing ways.  The role you will end up enjoying has probably not been invented yet!”

From Tierria, Grad 2022 –

“Set goals! “A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint Exupéry”

From Kimyung in Atlanta –

“If something doesn’t exist in the world, create it. Be kind to yourself and others. Learn to live on less than what you need and save your money. Never stop learning. And of course, read ‘Designing Your Life!’”

Read the full (and fun) article here

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