Our opinion: Message to graduates

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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“Such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.” Elrond, JRR Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring

By now, most all of you students are counting down to the end of the school year. Graduations will soon begin if they haven’t already and the future lies just ahead of you.

As a student, you are at the nexus of a pivotal point in your life. No matter what your next plans are, you will soon be leaving the familiar and looking ahead to the uncertain future. Experiences you’ve never had before, decisions you didn’t have to make before.

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For some, this is a scary next step. For the past 18 years your feet have been firmly rooted to the present — the here and now, but with that next step you will have the broad horizon laid out before you.

From here, your life will largely be your own. Not that you have to make any new decision without asking others for advice, but in the grand scheme of things the decision for your next footsteps will be for you to take.

For still others, these very things that can cause anxiety in others are causes for excitement. Maybe you have been waiting years for the opportunity to spread your wings and experience life’s adventures.

Regardless of who you are, we applaud you for your bravery.

It’s at this point that we’re choosing to offer up our own advice to the chorus of advice you’ve no doubt received from others and it comes twofold.

First and foremost, never forget where you’ve come from. Experiences can often be neutral and are defined by the circumstances in which they arise. By this we mean that whatever the experience is, it’s valuable with the right mindset and helps define the person you are becoming.

From this perspective can come celebration or the knowledge that you can rise to the adversity of the moment if it so demands. This gives you strength and with strength comes confidence. Everything up to this point has built you into the person that you have and are ready to become.

Value those friends you made, value those teachers who guided you, value the parents that have supported you and value this moment in time.

The second part is to acknowledge the future and its potential while at the same time understanding that a large part of it will be beyond your control. That’s where you learn to adapt and change your future as you see fit or as circumstances require.

The future is fickle and as much as you try, some things you just won’t be able to bend to your will. Again, adapt and pivot when necessary, but at the same time don’t compromise who you are. You will have to compromise life in some ways, but you don’t have to compromise who you are.

You are a singular being made up of moments in time that have culminated in this nexus. You will make mistakes and you most certainly will not be perfect, but that’s life. Be comfortable in who you are and stay your course.

That’s it. That’s our advice.

Congratulations to all of you graduates who are stepping to the edge of one moment and ready to cross into the dawn of a new moment. It’s an exciting time, embrace it.