Someone asked a question today that got me thinking–What HS graduation/going to college gift would you recommend for a first-gen student?
The question took me back to my graduation day.
We had a party at the house after the ceremony. Family and friends to come over and eat sandwiches and potato salad and cake. I got an address book and stationary and a dozen cards with cash tucked inside.
I had no idea that day, but the best graduation gift I received was a brown leather portfolio.
It was a gift from one of my Mom’s coworkers. I remember opening it and thinking how professional it looked. I tucked it carefully into my bag and took it to college with me. I was afraid to carry it at first. I didn’t want to scuff it, ruin it. But after awhile, it went everywhere with me.
And as my college graduation approached, I would use it especially for interviews and important meetings. I feel silly admitting it, but carrying that portfolio was sort of like putting on armor. It gave me confidence. It helped keep that nagging Imposter Syndrome in check.
It’s nearing the end of its life, beginning to show signs of wear. But it has served me well, helped propel me forward. I’ve written thousands of pages of notes, earned degrees, negotiated contracts, attended conferences, received promotions.
Twenty years later, it’s sitting here on my desk.