Don’t be afraid, graduating seniors. Opportunity awaits
o many opportunities await a country of graduating high school seniors.
The world is open before them, just waiting for each to make their mark.
Make no mistake, each of them will.
Today, we’d like to offer all of our soon-to-be high school graduates some thoughts as they enter the next chapter of their lives.
Some of you may make your marks in ways that the world learns of, but most of you will make your indelible impressions on the people you come into contact with daily.
That mark will be no less significant, and it represents an opportunity to leave a little of who you are with them.
Strive to make that mark something positive, while understanding that sometimes, no matter how hard you try to be a light in someone’s life, you may fail.
Speaking of, don’t be afraid to fail, and just accept right now that sometimes you will.
Steel yourself to that possibility, and then embrace it. Know that some of life’s best lessons come from failing at something, and it often represents a chance to learn a lesson. Those lessons often mean you must work harder or reverse course. But in not walking a perfect path, you can learn and grow, figure out your strengths and bolster your weaknesses.
Life is tough, kids, but that’s part of the adventure of it all.
Things change, you get comfortable, and then they change again. You end chapters, start new ones and through it all you continue growing.
You’ll have highs and lows, but most of your days will be “mediums.”
As you enter the real world at 17 or 18 (be it for post-secondary education, the military or directly into the workforce), know that most of us who’ve trod that path before you felt the same trepidation and excitement you do.
Trying to decide what you want to do with your whole life at such a young age is such a backward system, but it’s the one we have.
So to that end, whatever it is you choose to do, be brave and honest enough to acknowledge if your choice was wrong … after you’ve given it a sincere chance.
Not everyone magically knows what they want to do for the next four or five decades. But ideally what you chose to do shouldn’t lead to daily dread coming to work.
Some people live to work, others work to live.
Decide which you want to be and pursue that with everything you have.
Whatever you chose to do in any aspect of your life moving forward, make it fulfilling.
Defining for yourself what is fulfulling will be unique for each of you, and it will be up to each of you to figure it out.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Despite what you may think, those of us who were there before you know a thing or two about the challenges you’re facing.
The times have changed, but the feelings and questions as you enter this new time in your life are largely the same as they were for us.
You’re moving from the fish bowl that is high school into the ocean.
It’s a big change.
Your parents and guardians have less say in the choices you make from here on out, but know that they just want what’s best for you. Lean on them and really hear what advice they may have to offer.
They gave you roots, and now, their greatest hope is that you will now spread your wings and fly.