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Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Column: Here we go

I graduated from Davis a year ago after finishing my Super-Senior year. I spent my last nine months as a student in ballet class, a comedy course I completed twice before and a couple of musicals. I fell into this slump of laziness where work didn’t matter. Why would I show up for class if it’s over already? Also, I went to about eight-and-a-half classes my last year so I’m surprised I was even given my diploma. Also, I still haven’t picked up my diploma. See? Lazy.

I was tripped out by the fear of the next step. The uncertainty of how everything is supposed to turn out makes you cling on to the familiar. A part of me still wants nothing more than to have DC swipes and the ability to bike wherever I please at the drop of a hat. But as cool as we’d like to think Ryan Reynolds was in Van Wilder, we’re poorly mistaken.

Appreciate the last couple of weeks, don’t forget the memories and experiences, but make sure that you let go. Not completely, but enough where you’re able to let yourself be defined by other things aside from college. I’ve called myself a recent college graduate and a track and field athlete for too long. I hardly qualify for either. What we define ourselves by will be (hopefully) drastically different than before. We’re going to have to leave college behind at some point.

Once you’re on the other side, there’s this rush of freedom. It’s exhilarating having to answer to nobody but yourself for the good or bad decisions you make. You can go after whatever career you like or move anywhere in the world just because you feel like it. Vacations and parties have new levels of excitement and feel deserved and earned instead of part of the regular routine. So many amazing and surprising things will happen in your first year out, including learning so much about yourself. I’ve come to understand what it really is I want out of my life and what I want to define my success by. A year ago, my self-worth was still just as high but my interests and lifestyle didn’t line up with my endgame. I made those necessary changes and feel like I’m on the path to reaching those goals.

I do need to reiterate the amount of crap you deal with on a daily basis. That never goes away. Pipes burst in your apartment, family members go to the hospital, you don’t make as much money as you need to make ends meet. Instead of moping around complaining about the problems, do everything you can to create solutions for them. It sounds so simple and easy, but trust me, I’m fully aware of how much more appealing it is to sit under the covers hoping it all goes away on its own. But it won’t. And the feeling of accomplishment and pride in how you learn to deal with all the shit that comes your way is more rewarding than you’d think.

Think of your life as constant spring cleaning. You keep the things you know you’ll need and purge everything else that’s unnecessary. The arguments with your family and friends are probably stupid misunderstandings that don’t deserve as much weight. Just as you’re learning about yourself, keep in mind the type of people you surround yourself with. By now, you should be aware of the traits they have that don’t mix well with your own. What’s the point of trying to make everyone see your point of view? You can’t change the way people act, but you can change how you deal with the personality clash. It makes things go by a lot smoother.

As peers, it’s our responsibility to help each other through all the big struggles. So many factors (the economy, job market) are trying to keep us down. I believe we’re in the trenches together. Sharing our insights, experiences and struggles with the people in our lives is beneficial. I want nothing more than my family and friends to be successful and find fulfillment in their lives and to do anything I can to help.

God, I sound so old. But we’re college-educated adults now. Regardless of how daunting that last sentence is, that success we’re striving for rests on our shoulders. Get out there and make that shit happen.

JAZZ TRICE is here if you need him! Contact him at jazztrice526@gmail.com or twitter.com/Jazz_Trice.


  1. Jazz, Thank you for your honest, helpful and hopeful series of columns describing your first year after graduation. I have followed your journey from UC Davis to the working world with interest and appreciation.


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