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  • Diana

Eat the waffles

Two days ago I graduated from college. Three days ago, someone at the gym told me to sit back in my seat at graduation and take it all in. Even though I could barely see the stage over a sea of graduates, I didn't let my short stature hold me back from taking it all in.

At an important event like this, we all try to look for an important message to walk away with. The president of the college, a peace maker and even NY state Senator Charles Schumer delivered a speech. Yet, I sat there for about two hours still searching for that take away message.

After the class of 2018 graduated, we were on to hour three. Finally, our class president took to the stage and left us a message that I will remember forever. He mentioned that we came to school for a degree so we could find a job and be successful. But success isn't just accomplishing a goal or receiving a promotion. He told us that by quoting Leslie Knope... "We need to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter, but work is third."

Waffles can be anything. It can be volunteering, working out, doing a hobby or even going to the mall. Whatever you enjoy doing, make it your waffle. This is so important because we live in a dynamic environment that demands our attention. Too often we are preoccupied by the little things when the big picture is right in front of us. At the end of the day, we won't regret not picking up a shift at work. We will regret not spending time with those who are important to us.

I remember accepting an internship, taking 19 credits and working a job, all when I was a junior in college. At the end of that fall semester, my grandpa passed away. The summer prior, I visited my grandpa every day and once that 19 credit semester started, I was lucky if I saw him twice a week. I am sure you can guess, that I regret overloading my schedule because I could have spent more time with my grandpa.

Now, I am not saying that we shouldn't work, work hard or set professional goals (remember, work is third in the list of waffles, friends and work). I am thankful for that internship and semester. But, I think Leslie Knope's words can speak volumes to anyone. Take pictures, eat the ice-cream cone, go to the movies and do the things you love. You can always make more money, but you can never buy more time.

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