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As Graduation quickly approaches, I find myself overwhelmed with a variety of emotions: happiness, excitement, pride, anxiety, fear, sadness… As Nichole mentioned in her post, graduating from college is an extremely surreal feeling and leaving UGA is very bittersweet. Leaving the Classic City, which we’ve all grown to love and will always have a special place in our hearts, is a hard task to do, no matter how ready you are to burst through the arch and move on in your life.

With graduation 8 days away, I- like so many other graduating Seniors I know- am still without a job, a position I never thought I would be in. While this fact alone has created quite a few freak-outs in the past several months, I know that the only way to move forward is to be optimistic and positive, and to never give up. This job market is a challenge, but I plan on rising to the occasion. I am confident in myself and my qualifications, and I know who I am, which brings me to my point: It is so important that you get to know yourself in your college years. Through a Personal Leadership class I took as part of my certificate program through UGA’s Institute for Leadership Advancement, I discovered that I am an INFJ, my conflict sequence is blue-green, my primary leadership styles are selling and participating, and that my core values are family, passion, commitment, balance, and integrity. At one of our CDI meetings, I found out that my “true color” is blue.

So what does all of this mean? Well, it probably means nothing to you, but, to me, the previous list reminds me of all that I have learned about myself in the past few years. I have taken the time to really look within myself and learn who I am and who I want to be. My challenge to you is to do the same. Whether you’re a freshman here at good ‘ole UGA or a fellow Senior graduating in 8 days, it is so important that you understand yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, and what gets you up in the morning. Though my future plans are still a little hazy, I know that I will have the advantage of knowing myself and my capabilities when I enter the workforce; I know my core values and beliefs and I have a distinct leadership vision for myself. I ask you to keep this in mind as you move forward, through the remaining years in your college career, over the summer break in front of you, or in your post-graduate life: Know who you are. Find what makes you tick. Create a purpose for yourself and find passion in your purpose.

The Career Center offers various assessments to help you begin the process of “finding yourself.” In addition to helping you identify your strengths, interests, values, skills, and personality type characteristics, these assessments will help match these qualities with potential career paths. And for my fellow graduates, remember: you can utilize the Career Center services for 2 years after graduation!

Thank you so much to all of you who have been following our blog this semester. I have loved being able to share our stories and insights with you all, and I hope that you have been able to relate to one or all of the CDIs and have learned something along the way! Be sure to keep up with the blog over the summer for Guest Bloggers, hopefully including some UGA alums and updates from the 2009-2010 CDIs, and stay tuned next year as the new CDI team continues the blog from their viewpoint!

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.”—George Bernard Shaw