As I read the email, I was kind of excited but also a little nervous. My colleague simply asked for me to write some words to those kids, now young adults that I crossed paths with over 6 years ago. Written below is what I could muster up at this point of my life. To the class of 2014 and to anyone else willing to listen...
I jumped at the opportunity to write you all with one message: change is inevitable in life. You will have new experiences in the next few years, you’ll develop deeper current relationships, and you’ll cultivate completely new ones with people you meet. Things will change, some for the better and others you would not wish on anybody. Either way, remember that nothing can stop change. As my one piece of advice to a graduating class in today's world, accept change because it WILL come, and attempt to make peace with it when it happens.
Some changes will be difficult to handle at times, and you won’t like it, but you’re not always meant to like it. There is a big difference in accepting and learning. When change happens, is when you find how to utilize those relationships you have. Go to the ones you love and respect, lean on them, confer with them, and look for opportunity for growth. You will find that some people you never expected to be will be the best supporters, and it’s important to weigh and value those who you can be honest and sincere with, as unconditional support is intrinsic as we need others to help us through changes. Whether the change is good or bad, you can grow from it. The difference in my mind is that change is inevitable, growth is not. Change will happen because of others, growth can only happen within yourself.
Don’t waste opportunities to learn a lesson and let’s be honest, in some cases, don’t waste the opportunity to relearn a lesson. Knowledge is the diploma in your hand, wisdom is the application of that knowledge. Don’t ever think that you know it all, there’s always room to grow, and there’s always chances to make yourself better.
Be humble, use knowledge to gain wisdom!
Good luck and Godspeed Class of 2014!