Graduates are on fire for life and its seemingly endless possibilities, but those of us on the other side know Forrest Gump was right when he said life can be like a box of chocolates—and not always in a good way. As a result, we adults have both wisdom and experience to offer. However, let’s take a moment to switch places and ask ourselves what we can learn from the Class of 2018.
Celebrate your success, and don’t dwell on defeat.
Sometimes, life and its school of hard knocks jade us. We see the rejection letters, the closed doors, and the failed hopes. When we do, we often lose sight of all the bright moments we’ve experienced, too.
On the other hand, graduates are young and resilient—and for the most part, not as burned by disappointments. For those of us feeling frayed, let’s exercise our stamina again. Accept defeat and criticism when they come, learn from them, but don’t dwell on them.
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Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate those successes. Graduates know how to party, and we need to cheer for the moments where we do make the deadline, conquer the laundry pile, and get the upper hand on “adulting.”
Be optimistic about the future.
Time and age do something to us. Just the other day, I celebrated a good friend’s twenty-fifth birthday and caught myself wishing, “Man, I’d love to be twenty-five again. I’d do so much differently.”
Admit it. You’ve probably wished to reverse the clock at some point. I think we all have. Instead of focusing on what went wrong or what we missed, we need to face forward.
Graduates are only too happy to kiss high school goodbye and start the next chapter. The truth is, our best days are the ones we’re living now. Let’s make the most of them by not wasting time on what-ifs but doing the most with the precious gift of today.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a famous piano player like the ones on the Lawrence Welk Show my parents sometimes replayed for us kids. (Graduates, you’ve probably never heard of that show, which was dated even when I was a child.) Still, I loved music, and I didn’t care. I simply stared in awe at the pianists whose fingers set those ivories on fire.
Today, I’m no concert pianist. I’m not even a musician by vocation, but I’ve served in my church music ministry and sometimes still lead music in small groups.
As someone has said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you may land among the stars.” If we never dream, what will motivate us to practice discipline? Maybe your candle is burning at both ends, but set aside a few moments to ask yourself what you would like to accomplish. Don’t just say dinner.
If we never dream, what will motivate us to practice discipline? Maybe your candle is burning at both ends, but set aside a few moments to ask yourself what you would like to accomplish.
Sure, there are plenty of life lessons we can share with graduates, and I think we should come alongside the future generation to mentor and encourage them any way we can. However, let’s not forget what they can teach us about living in the moment and going for our dreams.