You’ve just graduated from college and it’s time to begin “the rest of your life.” Classes have wrapped up, your diploma is in hand … now what?

As Seattle Pacific University celebrates our 125th anniversary, we spoke with some notable GOLD (graduates of the last decade) alumni to see where life has taken them.

Here’s some of the insight that SPU’s “125 Ones to Watch” wanted to pass along to new grads:

“Graduation is an immense and important accomplishment, but you’re not done yet. Your classroom is simply larger now.”Megan Swanson Chao ’09, U.S. Executive Director and Co-Founder of Hope for Life Ministry

“Seek advice from people who are doing what you want to be doing.” Neenah Funk Maier ’11 (right), Apparel Designer at REI Inc.

“Always strive to work in a field that gives you life and brings life to others.” Arlicia Etienne ’13, High School Program Coordinator at Peace Community Center

“Continue to develop relationships with your faculty mentors after you graduate.” Samuel Ernest ’15 (left), Graduate Student in Religion and Literature at Yale Divinity School, Berkeley Divinity School, and The Institute of Sacred Music

“Figure out what makes your heart glad and your head happy.” Betsy Pinney Hartman ’10, CEO and Founder of PNW Music Therapy, LLC

“Find people who can help to remind you that life happens during the journey of reaching your destination. It’s all about the journey.” Angela Burt Tucker ’08 (right), Post-Adoption Program for Amara/The Adopted Life

“Don’t settle for the path of least resistance.” Giselle Gonzales ’14, Adventure Guide for Adventures by Disney and Writer/Social Media Storyteller

“The greatest opportunities for growth are never in comfortable places.” Evan Egerer ’10 (left), Bilingual Third Grade Teacher in the Pasco School District, Self-Employed Musician

“Dream with God and see what is possible. Cast aside any fear that prevents you from pursuing that dream. Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” Olivia Young ’14, Sponsorship Manager at Show Mercy International

“Surround yourself with people different from you. You will learn so much more that way.” Holly Dahlstrom Prairie ’12, Manager of Nielsen’s Pastries

“Reconnect with things you are passionate about that you neglected during college.” Alyssa Singh ’12 (right), Nurse for Seattle Public Schools, Executive Director for Imani Care International

“Life is complicated and messy, and it’s never going to be what you planned. Don’t try to follow a schedule or compare yourself to where other people are on their journeys.” Danielle Myers Rogland ’13, Department Coordinator for Glass Eye Studio, Author/Freelance Writer

“Be open to a change in plans!” Cristina Hernandez ’13 (left), Lead Organizer at Interfaith Center for Worker Justice

“Life will happen to you. It will be hard, it will be fun, but you have no idea what exactly tomorrow brings. Don’t put your faith in your plans; put your faith in God.” — Char Beck ’08, Self-Employed Photographer at Char Beck Photography

Congratulations, class of  2017. We can’t wait to see what your future has in store!