It’s our natural instinct to tighten our grip on what is familiar, close, personal or owned. We don’t naturally take on the idea of letting go because it means confronting ourselves and our reasons for holding on.
As college freshman, many of us learned what it meant to be independent of our high school friends and the accessibility of our families, for those of us who went to school further from home. We were charged with letting go of what we thought we knew as high school seniors in order to leave space for all there was to know about being a newbie on the grounds of a campus covered with others who were similar to or nothing like us.
As sophomores, others of us gained a little more security about why we made the correct or quite possibly, an incorrect college choice. We had experiences as freshmen that drove us to transfer to other schools, change majors, and add or drop classes. On the other spectrum of growth, some of us severed ties with friends we gained freshman year either due to some external stimuli that disrupted the friendship or due to life just happening and at that, quickly. We had to let it go in order to move forward.
As juniors, we are more established as collegiates-harping on the idea that the majority of us have one year left and cannot allow the year to be spent without fortifying what we want to do after we graduate, while standing in line at the bookstore daydreaming about purchasing an alumni sweatshirt. The possibility of newfound relationships is birthed and the extension of relationships that began just last year are on the verge of healthy continuance or needed severance. We are still letting go, familiarizing ourselves with the life that is about to unfold because realistically, holding onto who we are as college students will not allow us to thrive in a society that is awaiting someone who has graduated literally and mentally.
As seniors, we are intrinsically taller and academically brighter, having adopted all there is to know about surviving as a college student, while carrying the willingness to gift this knowledge to an incoming freshman. We have come to terms with the fact that the world awaits us and our oyster knives are just about sharp enough to carve our niche in it. We have hopefully let go of what it means to be mediocre because at this juncture, complacency is the thief of contentment and vision.
Graduation comes and we are all boastful in our caps and gowns, inhaling and exhaling every breath of air that whispers how emphatically proud we should be. In this space we are challenged to let go of the dorm life, the people that aren’t headed in the same direction our entry level positions and grad schools are calling us toward. We are letting go of the student bucks that won’t buy us the next suit for an interview or pay a bill that’s due next month. We are letting go of what if’s and should haves all because the cap tossed in the air, with its acrobatic tassel, communicates that we have arrived at some differing perspective that will allow us room to be ok with letting go in the “real world”.
Now we are adults and the grip is tightened. It hurts to let go when you finally feel as if you have the power to choose. It is an awkward reminder that we have yet arrived at something. But, if we consider all that we let go of, in our tenure as college students, then the possibility of letting go becomes less strange and more of a reason to champion life a little differently.
Letting go does not equate loss. It reflects that some lesson is being learned and something else is being taken on. Letting go is an opportunity for maturity to happen and breakthrough to take place. It means being okay with not having control of everything, knowing that who you are and where you are headed, is right where it needs to be so you can meet it at an appointed time. It also means recognizing your value and accepting how truly powerful you are. Letting go never said it would feel good, but it tends to work out in such a way that we experience a liberation that is uncanny to anyone holding onto what needs to be released.
It may look like starting a new business or closing a new contact. It may be skydiving for the first time or holding a book launch. Letting go may be accepting that you are enough for your vision and the persons that belong in it. It could also be availing yourself to newfound love or friendship or releasing a toxic one. However you decide to let go, process the wealth of experience and character that will follow it.