Graduating? Here’s advice from local leaders in Asheville

UNC Asheville's commencement takes place this Sat., May 7. | Photo via @unc_asheville

Ah, graduation season — a time for reflection, celebration, and (if we’re being honest) sheer terror about the next chapter of life. In honor of all our local college graduates, we’re placing the thinking cap on the other head (i.e., those who have been there and done that)

Here’s a collection of advice + well wishes for everyone who’s gone through the hassle for the tassel — congratulations, grads. 🎓

“You are doing better than you think. You are smarter, stronger, more courageous and funnier than you know. If the world makes you doubt it, call your mom. She thinks you are effin’ amazing!” — Kate Pett, Executive Director of Thrive Asheville 

Be ready to walk through the door that suddenly swings open for you when you thought you were traveling somewhere else. That doesn’t mean you should abandon your heart’s true dream, or that you can’t grieve its loss if you do have to move on, but just know that it might come back in another form you don’t recognize just yet.” — Ali McGhee, PhD and 6AM City Culture and Team Development Leader 

Warren Wilson College also has graduation this weekend. | Photo by Mary Bates


Invest in your creativity. Even if your creative pursuits don’t earn you money, give them time and attention. It’s absolutely OK (and essential!) to treat your artistic endeavors with the same consideration — and value — you treat your for-profit job.” — Alli Marshall, Founder of AM/FM Broadcast and author of “How to Talk to Rockstars”

Don’t feel locked into the path you’ve chosen straight out of college. Go out, enjoy as many experiences as you can, whether in work or play (or both if you can find a job that combines them), learn what makes you happy and then follow that path!” — Angie Robinson, VP of Darby Communications

“What is your mission in the world? Imagine who you want to be, how you want to feel, and what you want to create. Be kind, grateful and curious as you enjoy this next big chapter of your life journey. Congrats on this big life leap and remember — on many days live life like a festival.” — Jennifer Pickering, Executive Director of LEAF Global Arts

“Value you value me together earth.” — DeWayne Barton, Founder of Hood Huggers International and Burton Street Peace Gardens

“Take a gap year and travel. You will never regret it.” — Tricia Y.