Dear Graduates: Don’t Despair, Share!

A wise man once said, “Who am I? Sim Simma.

So who are you, sim simma? What is your role in the world? If you’ve recently graduated from college, you’ve likely spent hours trying to figure out the answer to that question. You’ve joined the clubs, played on sports teams, gone to school, danced in recitals, bought the t-shirts, worn the bracelets, and run the 5K’s. Your walls are covered in faded articles highlighting your childhood achievements and your parents still pop in the VHS tape of your first grade play (big ups to Peter Rabbit!) and coo about your potential.

You were supposed to find your passion, strike it rich and cure cancer…all before you turned 30. And then you graduated from college. And moved back home. And sat on the couch watching your first grade play with your parents, wondering where it all went wrong.

New York Times columnist David Brooks recently wrote about the backwards system that produced this generation of floaters, searching aimlessly for their identities amidst a ruined economy. He wrote that, “Most will spend a decade wandering from job to job and clique to clique, searching for a role.” This is a group of people who can write 160 characters that sum up their entire selves and yet they can’t seem to find roles and identities in “real life.” But are they searching for roles or searching for jobs?

For the first time in a long time, we’ve got a generation of people who probably won’t be able to define themselves by their careers. Success (being on MTV Cribs) is no longer guaranteed or even expected. It has become perfectly acceptable for graduates to return home to hang their college diplomas on the wall, right next to the hand drawn turkeys from 1995.

And perhaps that’s why social media has become so important. People who are searching for themselves have fluid, flexible platforms where they can define themselves by their experiences, many of which are shared across these same social channels. They can easily reach out to people going through similar struggles and find hope in the success of their peers.

This group won’t spend the next decade wandering. They’ll spend it sharing.

______________________________________________________________

When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys updating her Facebook “about me” to more accurately reflect her true self. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

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