Class of 2020, Please Nap

June 07, 2020

I can speak on behalf of our whole team at Born This Way Foundation to say, we are so proud of you! You’ve studied, balanced responsibilities, and done everything else that comes with completing this stage of your education and now all that’s left is to celebrate what you’ve done and who’ve grown to be. You may feel guilty celebrating in this moment, but please know that you should show yourself love whenever you can. 

Here are a few tips I wish I had received when I was younger that I hope will be helpful to you:

  • Allow others to inspire you, but don’t compare yourself to others. I spent a lot of time in my teenage years and early 20s wondering how other people seemed to “have it all”. That time would have been better served being inspired by what they were doing and adopting some of what I saw into my daily life, instead of judging myself for where I was. It’s natural to want to grow and set goals for yourself, but please remember that no one “has it all” and that you are perfect the way you are, so please celebrate that! 
  • When your body needs a nap, take a nap. In my teens and early 20s, I did that thing where I thought I had to be the person who worked most in the room to do well and that isn’t the case. Not getting enough sleep is bad for your mental health and your cognitive function. Don’t be like the younger me! I am a much more creative and generally agreeable person now that I prioritize sleep. Please trust yourself and your body to know when you need to take a step back and rest. 
  • Give yourself permission to laugh, cry, dance, whatever you need to do. We are living in stressful times and I hope that you give yourself space to take a break from the news and your obligations to laugh or access joy however you’d like. Do you have a favorite funny video or meme? A writing or breathing exercise you like to do that calms you? Have a new song you love and want to have a mini dance party to? Please do those things to unwind. It’s ok to take a moment away from your other responsibilities to take care of yourself because you are your greatest priority. 

Congratulations again to you, the Class of 2020! Thank you for being the generation that pushes us forward, fills us with hope, and reminds us of our resilience. You DID THAT!

Team Born This Way Foundation and I are so excited for what you do next. 

In Kindness and Naps,

Mitu Yilma