"Show me the money!" – Jerry Maguire
This should be pretty self-explanatory. Money makes the world go ‘round and even if you want to go de-worm children in Africa you are going to need money. You can go the full-time route, the part-time route, the freelance route, or any other legal version of obtaining money using your skill-set. Not everyone is made for an office 9 to 5, the goal is to find the set-up that is best for you and monetize it. With technology allowing for easy connectivity across the world, it is now easier than ever to take full advantage of the multitude of opportunities available. Just stay legal, don’t try to recreate an episode of The Wire.
"I feel the need—the need for speed!" – Top Gun
Maybe you are one of the kids who have been prepared for life since you were formed in the womb. Not even a carded member of the human race yet and you were already planning your life goals and the paths you will take to get there. With that, there is absolutely no problem with being prepared (although it is creepy) except for the fact that when you get a job and get your life together, what comes next? Would you rather speed through your hopes and expectations or take a breather and enjoy the finer things in life? Perhaps you want to take a couple of months off and backpack through Europe or volunteer overseas. There is no “must-be-accomplished-by-this-date” policy in life. We will all get old, but stressing yourself out to achieve your to-do list before the age of 25 will do nothing but stress you out and make you ridiculously irritable and a pain to be around.
"You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" – Dirty Harry
Are you glad you went to the University of Miami? Are you glad you survived Hecht and Stanford? Are you glad you stayed 50 feet away from Four Loko (feel free to modify this statement based on your average blood alcohol level between Thursday and Monday)? The goal of graduation is to have the least amount of regrets as possible. You can’t relive those years nor should they be the best times of your life. Yes, this is probably the only time you can be on Ocean Drive for a full 48 hours, intoxicated and not be compared to Paris Hilton; but really do you want to be 40 years old hanging out with college students? Complete your Miami bucket list and have no regrets. Although the $200,000 tuition fee may break you a little inside, you are done and it’s time to move on to life post-dorm life.
"May the Force be with you." – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Not everyone wants to continuously stay on campus post-graduation. For others, you won’t have the opportunity to stay on campus anyway (as in, you are moving away from Miami, not that you are on the UMPD watch list). So take these last moments to soak up as much knowledge as possible from professors, friends and general staff members who can help you move forward in life. Don’t write down every single suggestion someone gives you. There are stupid people in the world and after four years of palm trees and ducks you should be able to distinguish between useless and useful knowledge. As another side note, if your personal Yoda is really passionate about telling you something or making you do something that is only possible to achieve in Miami, it is probably a bad idea. Run for the hills. Yoda needs to give some better advice, otherwise Yoda needs to shut-up.
"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." – Dead Poets Society
To wrap up this mega-post in the voice of Jim Morrison, “this is the end, beautiful friend, the end.” Even for the less than aesthetically pleasing amongst us, these years at Miami will never return again. You can always earn your masters or doctorate degree here, but nothing will be the same. The Rat will be gone, the parrots may be gone, and a crocodile may finally chase off those fat ducks that like to parade up and down Stanford Drive. Calling Canes will have your information and who knows what other changes will occur. Take the however many years you were here and make something out of yourself.
Don’t be the one person in Miami Magazine who has nothing to say for themselves. Buy a stuffed Sebastian, stick it in your car window/ office/ house window/ random areas in life and never forget your years at Miami. Especially for the few of us who will be paying for it for the next 10 years. Every time you send out that monthly check, throw up the U with a little tear in your eyes.