Congratulations, graduates!
Whether you’re finishing high school or any kind of higher-education degree, we’re proud of you for your accomplishment. You’ve achieve that goal despite the disruptions, stress and all-out weirdness of your last school year and a half happening during a pandemic.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the trip to get this far, and we hope you’re looking forward to the next stage of your journey.
You don’t need all of the answers for your future right now; just take your next step and keep your eyes open to possibilities. You can change your mind and explore along the way.
Whatever you do, do it well. Then doors will open for you.
Remember that life isn’t fully lived unless you notice others and their circumstances, and then reach out, connect and give. In turn, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, as we all do at times.
Never forget your actions have consequences — on you and the people who care about you. Think before you act, and make good decisions.
We live in a world where many voices of all types clamor for attention. Never stop seeking the truth and asking questions.
Be quick to listen to others’ perspectives and experiences, but be careful of what you accept as fact.
Speak truth and kindness. These two things are as vital to the mind, heart and soul as air and water are to the body. Give kindness and truth to others, and find people who offer them to you.
You’ll have good times and bad times. In the bad times, keep going, let others help you and never forget the blessings you still have, however small they may seem.
In the good times, enjoy them fully; remember what you’ve been through and be grateful. Be kind to others going through tough times.
There will always be someone who’s better at a given task than you. There will also always be someone who isn’t as good at this or that.
Nonetheless, you are unique in all of history and the human race, the only one with your combination of talents, perspective and characteristics. Never devalue yourself.
Likewise, remember that everyone you meet is unique and talented in his or her own way, and don’t devalue them, either.
There will always be someone who has something more or better than you do. There will also always be someone who has less or is worse off than you.
Dream big, but don’t let envy take hold of you. Be grateful for the good things you have now, even as you work hard for your next goals, but don’t let yourself look down on others for what they don’t have.
Work hard, play often, exercise, go outside, get some sleep, eat three healthy meals a day and treat yourself occasionally. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Enjoy your time in the big, wide world. We know each one of you has a special place in it.