Dear Skyhawk Seniors:
It’s commencement week.
You’ve made it. Take a moment and breathe it all in. No…really. These past four years have been tough, but the past 13 months have been really difficult. This is an important milestone in life and you need to stop and celebrate!
Let me leave you with four quick pieces of advice as you move forward.
- You are tough. You’ve faced numerous obstacles this past year, some of which many of us have never encountered in our lifetimes. You’ve experienced extended isolation, the threat of physical illness and an uncertain economic outlook. Through it all, you’ve kept pushing. Learning. Surviving. Succeeding. Don’t think about what you didn’t get to do this past year. Instead, think about the new ways you have learned to cope with challenges and overcome them with creativity, grit and determination.
- Always give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s been a tough year. Most of us are carrying around a load of burdens and concerns. In a time when we need to come together and listen to each other, we’ve been isolated and alone. When you encounter someone who seems irritated, frustrated or withdrawn…remember that they may be experiencing a tough time and have a heavy heart. Give them grace and offer a smile. You never know what a kind word or nice gesture can do for a weary spirit.
- Say “I love you” daily. As the world opens back up and you prepare for a new career and life adventures, you’ll be busier than you’ve ever been. Some of you will be starting your first jobs. Others are beginning graduate school or moving across the country. You’ll have countless new people to meet and new roles to learn. Through it all, don’t forget your family and friends. They’ve been there for you and want to remain your support system as you move forward. Keep in touch with those special people in your life. Call them. Send them a quick note or text. Shoot them pictures of your new adventures. But most of all – tell someone you love them every day. It’ll bring a smile to their face and the communication will brighten your day, too.
- Don’t forget that we are still here for you. Those faculty members who advised you through your academic schedule will still want to hear from you! That mentor in the Office of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs? They want to know how you are doing. Remember, this is your university for life. The relationships you formed while a student will remain for years to come. Call us. Visit us. Keep in touch.
I wish you the best as you transition to the next phase of life. You can do anything and be anything. Don’t ever stop believing in yourself…or loving others.
All the best,