I had many plans for my very last semester at Gannon University. I had planned to have mountains of job offers and a job secured right after graduation. I had planned to take my boards as soon as possible so I could become licensed and begin working. I had planned to move out of my parent’s house and start my career in the Big City.

I didn’t plan to become so overwhelmed with my graduate thesis research that I wouldn’t have time to apply for jobs. I didn’t plan for the testing centers where I take my board exam to be booked for entire months, making me delay in achieving my licensure. I didn’t plan for having the world’s worst kidney infection for the last three weeks of the semester, causing me to miss out many end-of-the year festivities with my class and be in lots of pain ALL THE TIME.

My point in writing this isn’t to whine about how life sucks or to sound like a stereotypical “entitled millennial.” My point in writing this is to simply state that life does not always go as planned. And that is okay.

John Lennon has this song called “Beautiful Boy,” a song I sang waaaaaayyyyy back as a senior choir member graduating from high school. There’s this lyric that I love, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I know, I know, some of you are condemning me for quoting such a controversial artist, but let’s briefly ignore the intimacies of Lennon’s personal life. Let’s just focus on this lyric.

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. I think this is almost written for the recent graduate.

Throughout your career, personal life, relationships, things will not go as planned. You might not get that dream job. It might rain on your outdoor wedding. You may experience unexplainable tragedies throughout your life that you never could have forseen or even prepared for. Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

These bumps in the road might lead you to unfathomable joys. You can plan for one thing all you want, but sometimes life will have a different direction for you.

My advice for the class of 2017: Don’t plan so much. Don’t put all these unreasonable expectations on yourself. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the uncertainty. Take those plans you’ve made for all those years of how your life is SUPPOSED to look and throw them out the window. Sometimes, the best gifts in life are those that are unexpected.

I’d like to take a moment to thank all the wonderful staff members I’ve had the pleasure to work with at Edge for these past 5 years. Zach Flock, Nicole Lossie, Kristen McAuley, all the editors-in-chief I’ve worked under (including the OG Sarah Sgro for convincing me to write as a freshman and April Sherinsky for being a noble land mermaid), all the creative contributors I’ve met over the years; you all made this publication into something special and something the Erie community really enjoys.

The last goodbyes and thank-yous go out to this semester’s editors-in-chief Aaron Mook and Adam Miller. I met these two when they were freshmen. Throughout their four years at GU, they have grown into the most creative, dynamic, and enthusiastic people I’ve ever known. They turned from people I goofed around the Edge office with to my closest friends. The thought of not spending every waking second at their apartment watching YouTube videos terrifies me, but I know we’ll see each other again soon. I wish Adam good luck as he enters grad school at Point Park University, and Aaron best wishes as he enters the workforce and gets married (!!!) this coming year. Thank you for making Edge something truly remarkable, and thank you for being my friends.

With that, dear readers, I think this is where I sign off. For real this time. Thanks for being faithful readers over the years. I don’t quite know what life has planned for me, but I’m sure it’s something amazing. And I’ll be sure to keep in touch.

Congratulations class of 2017. We did it!