It’s that time again. The pouis is in bloom, it’s finally getting hotter and caps and gowns are being pressed. It’s a time of energy, anxiety and expectation. The long road you’ve been walking has finally brought you rest. Because, this is just a rest stop. It isn’t over, it’s not beginning, this is the point where you stop to refuel and check your road map. What’s passed was just the warm up. All you’ve endured, all you’ve lost and gained, all you’ve spent and sweat for has brought you here. And your cheerleaders are excited to see you. In some way, they’ve walked this road with you and your accomplishment of this moment belongs to them as well.
I’ve spoken with quite a few young men and women starting school, going through school, just out of school and every outlook is different. I try to caution some and I encourage all. Because one of the ways I learnt was by making mistakes. No matter what anyone can tell you, no matter what guidelines you’re given, everyone follows to their own mind. And my encouragement is that experience is always the best teacher. Because even in your mistakes, there is no failure, there is just a new perspective to try. And believe me, it is never too late.
Never start because every else is starting. Never continue blindly without asking for advice. And never finish, stating you’ve got it all figured out. For that, life will kick you in the butt. I’ve heard a lot of it. This is what I’m doing, this is why I’m doing, this is how I’m doing. And 11 out of 10 times, there’s no truth to any of it. You’ll find people going through the motions with something to prove. They need something to show and something to say. And for those people a degree will always be nothing more than a piece of paper in an expensive frame.
If your purpose is true then your knowledge, your experience, and your fortitude will always be evident. They will show even unexpectedly, without preemption nor pretention. They will be your compass and your guide, your admission that things aren’t what you expected and you didn’t get them right, they will be the voice that says “try again”, and they will get you where you need to go. Which, may not always be where you wanted or even expected to be.
Out here in life no one is telling you what courses to take, the decisions will be up to you. And I am a chief believer in following your passions, chasing your dreams and making a living out of life. At the same time though, don’t be too anxious for landing the “dream job”, don’t be discouraged when even with hard work you’re met with rejection. Don’t be ungrateful, and don’t be conceited, do not think you know it all, and don’t give up because of how long it takes. The first job after graduation may not be what you want to do. But it’s a paycheck and as long as you can still see how you’re going to get where you want to go, then take it and welcome to adulting.
Your journey begins before you ever even realize. It ends for many far too soon. Take time to see the views from your rest-stop. There are people there that you’ll never see again. There are many you’ll meet after. And who you are, isn’t the same as who started, who you are isn’t the same as who will stop. You are the sum of parts gone before, here and now and what will be. And I hope you remember that on your graduation day, I hope you remember that always.
Congratulations and blessings,