My undergraduate commencement was on May 14th 2005, and my graduate commencement fell on the same date, exactly seven years later. This year on May 14th, a dear friend and I commenced what I hope will be a very fruitful project in the months to come (more news about that soon). May 14th has been a fortuitious date for me for almost a decade, and each year I try to mark the season of commencement by setting aside time to renew my vows to lifelong learning and new beginnings. It's a tradition I hope to continue.
In the spirit of this tradition, I've been thinking about a piece of advice that I would give to my 21 year old undergraduate-graduating self. I found a great series featuring this kind of advice here, and although it may sound corny, it's actually pretty neat. After reading through some of the advice folks would give themselves at 21 or 22, I composed my own:
Be on your own side. There's enough in this world to struggle with, don't pick a fight with YOU. Embrace each moment, even (and especially) the painful ones. Don't push pain away, hold it close like a baby, rock it, sing to it, let it know things will be ok. Don't wait to experience joy, actively cultivate it. Refuse to become jaded; it's easy to be pessimistic, and courageous to stay hopeful. Always act with love.
How about you? What's your short and sweet advice to your younger self? Happy adventuring, today and always!
I had the pleasure of hearing Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner speak at my commencement from Emerson College in 2012. Watch the full speech below:
NPR has collected and archived what they consider to be the 300 best commencement speeches of all time: http://apps.npr.org/commencement/