Message to new college graduates about jumping hoops

May 22, 2013


Why do we jump hoops?

Let me just say, this cartoon is awesome. It expresses so many different ideas in a succinct, entertaining manner. We do jump through hoops to get in, hoops to excel in our particular degree, and to obtain that long-sought after hoop which holds the diploma… but why?

I believe the hoop jumping of our educational careers has taught us more than what our degree states. Allow me to use the cartoon as my template. To be admitted, we must jump through the required hoops of admission, scholarships, and possibly financial aid.

During college, we most certainly deal with competitive hoops. This is where we learn to strive for excellence, while honing our personal skill sets. We learn what we love, and what we can leave behind.

The hoop of perfect timing, in my opinion, is out of our hands. We can only do the best we can – in college, those classes might fill up before we get a chance to enroll or we didn’t get that “perfect” internship. We’ve learned roll with the punches, through this. Imagine that perfect job, being filled by someone else just a mere week before you were available to begin. Patience. our perfectly timed hoop is on its way.

You will be surprised by your own aptitude

Many hoops seem unreachable, at first… but sooner or later, you will surprise yourself at your aptitude. This instills confidence in yourself, and through diligence, that goal is attainable, be it finishing up that project before the deadline, reaching for that promotion, or even starting up your own business. When you do inevitably fail, you must learn to be proud of the work you’ve invested, as it will never be lost. Failing creates humility, which can never learned by winning. This too will come back up after graduation.

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You will be bored, get burned, and embarrassed. However, it is in those moments that we still learn to persevere. Isn’t that life? We endured it in high school, in college, and we would be wise to expect it in our careers.

It’s in that moment of realization

Then, we graduate and get a job. We grow up. And go to work. Go home. Go to work. Go home. We mustn’t forget that it’s our choice to allow the cattle herding to continue. I believe it’s in that moment of realization of our choice, something happens.

There’s a little something deep within us. We get to a point where we think along the lines of, “Wait a minute… I want to do this.” The fires of passion and excitement are ignited. We realize we can create our own hoops, as the comic called it. When we look back, we see the years of hoop jumping behind us. We’ve endured many, while learning along the way that hoops are necessary. Large hoops, small hoops, firey, seemingly elusive, boring, difficult, and even easy to navigate hoops.

Regardless of who has held your hoops in the past… you, new graduate, now have the freedom and responsibility to create your own. Good luck, and don’t forget – a hoop is just a big circle, just begging for you to sail on through.

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Tasha Salinas is a staff writer at The American Genius, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Journalism from Northeastern University. She is an info geek who reads, talks, & thinks way too much. You don't want to know how long it took her to write this bio.

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