Here, in no particular order, are some guidelines for graduates from the Jolly Librarian:
- Celebrate your accomplishment. It’s a big deal to earn a degree. Even if other people don’t recognize your accomplishment, don’t let that stop you from celebrating. Buy yourself a present. Eat a big piece of cake. Do something that makes you happy.
- Don’t celebrate forever. It’s easy after graduation to think that you need a break. But that break should have a definite endpoint. Then it’s time to start to think about your next step: a job, another degree, volunteer work, etc.
- Always be kind. In an age of social media, we have more than enough people who want to disparage ideas, ridicule people, and destroy others’ egos. We need more folks who take the high road.
- Check your sources. And not just on your research papers. People send out a lot of fake news, half-baked information, and twisted propaganda. If you don’t have time to check the accuracy of something, don’t resend, retweet, or share.
- Have fun. No, I’m not going to give you that old “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” speech. I don’t believe it. All jobs, all vocations, all choices require some work. I’m sure there are days that The Rolling Stones think they will fall over dead if they have to play “Brown Sugar” one more time. All jobs have tedious, hard moments. But jobs, no matter what they are, also provide moments for happiness and fun. Find those moments.
- Give back. No accomplishment is a singular achievement. When I wrote my dissertation, I was alone in a room, but I had help: the ILL librarians who managed to find books and documents from far way, the colleagues who gave me encouragement and support, even the guy at the car place in Pennsylvania who gave me a fair deal on a Honda when I totaled my Sentra the first week of my Ph,D. program. When I think about all the help I’ve been given, I can’t help but want to help others. I hope you will too.
Happy day, all you graduates out there!