To the Class of 2017 From a 2016 Graduate

This is it. You’ve graduated. I know there are so many wild emotions happening right now: sentiment, fear, excitement, sadness, relief, joy, and about 1,000 more. Your friends and your family are all there supporting you and celebrating with you. This was the last time your entire class will ever be together, the last time you walked through the halls as a student, and the last time you will ever be a high schooler. Everyone is telling you that these were the best years of your life, and now the hard part starts. They say you’re going to wish you could go back to high school and relive the “glory days”. I hope they are wrong.

When I graduated last year, I was so ready to be done with high school. I was ready for new places and new faces. Although looking back I realize that I had a lot more fun than I thought I did. I hold on to my high school memories because they were great, but I wouldn’t go back.

This year that I have had out of high school brought me exactly what I was looking for, new faces and new places. It has been a great year, even better than high school. However, the new places and new faces have also made me appreciate the old ones.  High school really was the “good ol’ days”, but not the best years of my life.

One year from now you will look around and everything will be different, but you won’t be sad.  Yes, everything is about to change forever. Yes, these were some great years. But this isn’t the end! I certainly hope that these weren’t the best years of your life because life is only beginning. I hope that each year from here on out is better than the one before! But that choice is yours. Hold onto your high school memories, but don’t hold onto high school.

It can be scary but everything will be ok. It’s ok to not know what’s coming next. It’s ok to be afraid, but don’t let that stop you! A great friend of mine once said “There’s opportunity in uncertainty”, and he was right. Take this time and this uncertainty and find out what you really want out of life, not what everyone around you thinks that you should want. This is your chance to build the foundation for the life you will live forever.

This is the time to step out of your comfort zone. Try what you think you cannot do, because I’ll bet that you can! You’ve spent the last 18 years working for this, the next step. Maybe it’s college, or the workforce, or military, or anything else! But make sure it’s what you want. This is your chance to do whatever you want.

Nothing ever just doesn’t work out. Even if it seems like everything is falling apart, trust me it’s not. This next year won’t be easy; there will be a lot of transition and learning, but everything will work out! I promise!

And if no one else has told you this yet I’ll say it: I believe in you! Yes, I believe that we were all given a passion and a calling for a reason. Find yours and give it everything that you’ve got. You might not know it right away (I’m still figuring it out) but keep searching for it! You will find it!

So go spread your wings and do great things! It takes all kinds to make the world go around, so that means the world needs each and every one of you. Go find your purpose!IMG_3079

Oh and one more thing……… Congrats Grad!!



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