A Note to My Daughter Heading to College for Her Senior Year: Celebrate You And Know Your Worth

Money and career advice straight from the heart of a financial professional who is also a proud mom of a soon-to-be grad.

Congratulations; you are almost there! You have come so far. There is so much ahead of you, yet much you have already learned and accomplished. Let me pause here and say how you have navigated your first taste of responsibility and freedom with grace. Take a bow, you are deserving.

Reflect on what you have done to get to this point and what you’ve learned. This will enable you to take this knowledge into your new career next year. Relax into your senior year and celebrate you.

Be brave! Leave fear behind, even as I mention a new career and all the unknowns you face; I can feel it rising. Let it go. It doesn’t serve you now and never will in the future. It will never do anything to further you in life, careers or your personal goals.

Take inventory of your talents prior to interviews of just who you are today. Build your confidence by reflection.


You have learned to balance life and to take care of your personal well-being. This matters to employers. As a business owner myself, I can tell you there is nothing more valuable than someone who has refreshed themselves over the weekend and is ready to dive in on Monday morning. It’s a contribution to the team, and you lead by example. Through this lesson, you’ve learned to avoid burnout, a skill that is obviously attractive to employers. Arianna Huffington once said during the launch of Thrive Global that “increasing well-being and the productivity that goes along with it is a win-win, for work and life.”

You demonstrated discipline with exercising and feeding your soul spiritually, including the nights of painting to sustain your creativity. I watched you enjoy a fun social life, laughing and a new love for iced matcha with oat milk. The best lesson on wellness finally came your junior year when you committed to taking one day off a week to breathe, hang with friends, rejuvenate and recharge with absolutely no work. This is wellness, and it will serve you well to continue this valuable practice you learned as you move forward in your career.

Continue to take care of you. Wellness is part of your worth.


This is not yet defined in dollars but in character; the dollars will follow. While you may not see it yet, here are a few thoughts to consider. Consider the ability to manage multiple personalities and relationships throughout the years, on campus and off (first-year acquaintances, remember?). The tenacity you illustrated by raising your GPA from your entry point. The leadership on campus you exemplified through managing others in your paid leadership role. The collaboration with other students for the betterment of those you are serving. Budgeting and your first stab at a spending policy has allowed you to manage finances.

  • Deadlines: You achieved each and every one, and that matters to future employers.
  • Discipline: You successfully developed a savings program with your on-campus employment.
  • Perseverance: You were able to drive forward when there was nothing short of overwhelming obstacles staring you in the face.
  • Faith: This has seen you through, encouraged and held you when the late hours of studying were wearing on you. It will be much the same in the workforce, but now you have the knowledge, and you earned it the hard way.
  • Integrity: You have a strong moral compass, and employers need this now more than ever.

All of these represent you and your character, which is of more value than you may realize. Capitalize on it in your career interviews and achieve your true financial potential.


Interview with confidence and expect successful employment. Don’t sell yourself short. Know your worth and then ask for it! As a bright, young woman, you are more valuable than you could ever imagine, and it’s time to present it to future employers.

Women are still considered a minority in the workforce, so take advantage of this in your first interview. The wellness and wealth of information you have listed previously by living independently on your own accord for the past few years has brought you more than a degree. Don’t forget to capitalize on it. Employers want to know who you are and that you are well-rounded (remember those college applications, same principle applies here).

In addition to the degree you’re about to earn, you’ve learned much about balancing your studies and your personal life. Share all the extras you have accomplished, but don’t forget to mention how you already “schooled” yourself in life balance. This makes you a better person and a better employee.

Expect successful employment. Expect multiple offers, and remember there is no time for fear. Negotiate. You may receive an offer from your summer internship when you graduate, but remember to look at other companies in the same industry for more options. Just because they offer you a job does not mean it’s the best fit for you. There’s still another year ahead with many options. Simply don’t commit too early.

Who do you know? Are there any connections that can be made, to open doors for you by others in your life? It’s time to reach out. Ask. You’re worth it, and most are more than willing to assist. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Recognize that it’s possible to change jobs early on, but you’ll learn from each experience.

Follow your heart.

Never lose the magnificence and wonder of who you are. That knowledge will go far in obtaining your first year’s salary.

Congratulations! You’re well on your way to succeeding in wellness and wealth throughout your life.

Much love,


P.S.: A note about your self-worth. The most beautiful accomplishment you’ve achieved in these years away at college is knowing your worth. You realized that comes from inside and connecting with self. I commend you for that. Never stray from those practices that afforded you this understanding. You’ve learned the most valuable life lesson already: Your worth is not determined by a paycheck, what others say or your achievements, but by the spiritual connection to self. Your worth is on the inside and radiates out to those in your sphere of influence. You’ve already achieved success; now have fun and enjoy your career!

About the Author

Melissa Attanasio, CFP®, CDFA®, MAFF®

Founder and CEO, Abundant Wealth Strategies

Melissa Attanasio, CFP®, CDFA®, MAFF®, is the founder and CEO of Abundant Wealth Strategies ( and Divorce Strategies Group ( Abundant Wealth Strategies is a wealth management firm founded in 1992. The firm specializes in financial matters and comprehensive cash flow management for high net worth individuals, among them, women in transition.

Most Popular

What Biden Will Do: 24 Policy Plays to Expect From the Next Administration

What Biden Will Do: 24 Policy Plays to Expect From the Next Administration

The Kiplinger Letter forecasts President-Elect Joe Biden’s biggest priorities -- and the likelihood of progress on them.
November 19, 2020
The 13 Best Healthcare Stocks to Buy for 2021
Kiplinger's Investing Outlook

The 13 Best Healthcare Stocks to Buy for 2021

Most of the best healthcare stocks for 2021 will have some sort of ties to COVID, whether it's producing a vaccine or cure, or benefiting from the vir…
November 20, 2020
16 Worst Gifts to Impulse Buy for the Holidays

16 Worst Gifts to Impulse Buy for the Holidays

Don't let those holiday sale promotions persuade you into buying something now that will be much cheaper later.
November 18, 2020


Bad News for Super Savers
Financial Planning

Bad News for Super Savers

Low inflation keeps thresholds on retirement savings plans in check.
November 25, 2020
Growing the Family Business
Business Costs & Regulation

Growing the Family Business

This Alabama farmer navigates the uncertainties of tariffs, COVID and unpredictable weather.
November 24, 2020
Some College Students Can Still Get a Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

Some College Students Can Still Get a Stimulus Check

Since the deadline is right around the corner, quick action is needed for college students who are eligible for a stimulus check.
November 17, 2020
Dear Mom and Dad: Thanks
Making Your Money Last

Dear Mom and Dad: Thanks

Ideally, living at home should provide a way to improve your financial well-being and lay the groundwork for future success.
November 17, 2020