Graduation: The Season of Change

by Lauren Arnold

People typically say fall is the season of change. I do agree the changing colors and temperature drop are deserving of the title, but I can’t stop thinking about the biggest season of change I am ever about to experience, graduation. I’ve been dreaming of this day forever, 16 years to be exact. It’s funny because I used to think this day would never come. Honestly, a part of me is excited to start the next chapter of my life, but the other half of me is scared of the unknown that this season will bring.

Looking back on my growth throughout school, I realized I have always thrived when I have a set schedule. My mom used to tell me that growing up, but I refused to listen to her (sorry mom!). Throughout college, I have gotten into a groove of waking up early, having mornings dedicated to homework, afternoons for class, early evenings for work, late nights for more homework and self-care. I didn’t realize how much having a schedule mattered to me until we had winter break this year. I cleaned my room countless times (inspired by Marie Kondo), made way too many baked goods, and yet I was bored out of my mind.

When the second semester started, the one thing I realized I needed, in addition to a well-planned schedule, was to create goals for myself. At our annual company meeting, our CEO challenged us to come up with our 15.5’s. Meaning, what are we going to do each day in and out of the office to help us reach our goal? At first, I couldn’t think of anything. It’s easy to think about your lofty hopes and dreams, but it’s another thing to develop simple steps that you can take each day to reach your goal. When I started to think of how I can better myself each and every day, I realized it starts with having a consistent schedule that I can count on. I would like to take a chance to share my 15.5 and show how it’s going to help me through my upcoming season of change.

My 15.5

  1. I want to take 15 minutes each day, without technology or distractions, to practice mindfulness. This will help me stay in the now and not stress about things I can’t control.
  2. I want to take an hour each week to work on professional development. Whether that be editing my resume, updating my LinkedIn, or asking a mentor to write me a letter of recommendation, I want to continually work on my professional development.
  3. I want to continue stepping out of my comfort zone. When I started at Sundog, I felt like a deer in the headlights with my lack of understanding of manufacturing and technology. Instead of simply saying I don’t know anything about the subject, I want to attend more meetings outside of my department. Some of the meetings I have attended are focused on email marketing, website design, and software engineering.

I have about a month left of my internship and school, and then after that I’m not sure what my plan is. In a world of unknowns, I do know one thing. I am passionate about people, stories and community. Perhaps my season of change will bring me closer to the subjects that fill my cup. But until then, I am going to continue working towards my goals each and every day. I’m excited to see where my future will take me.  

Until next time,

Intern Lauren