To the Class of 2020

To the Class of 2020 (and anyone else who needs to hear it)…

Life is full of opportunities.  Some are ones you just cannot pass up, but others, you might wish you did.
Life is full of disappointment.  Things may not always turn out as you had planned or hoped, however, sometimes that is because you didn’t plan or hope as greatly as you are capable of achieving.
Life is full of choices.  You will not always make the right one, however, the lesson is in having those options.
Life is full of detours.  However, when you view them as such, instead of viewing them as obstacles or roadblocks, you might learn to appreciate them, possibly, even embrace them.

Opportunities arise every day.  We just tend to focus on those that seem a bit grander.  However, you have the opportunity every day to take all the lessons you have learned (be it in class, or anywhere else) and share them with others.  Sharing your wisdom not only provides you the chance to share your experiences, but you provide someone else the opportunity to learn from them and appreciate them.
That might not pay the bills, but it pays in dividends.

You may feel like you have had your share of disappointment, however, it is only just beginning.  That is NOT a negative thing.  It is just a fact.  Disappointment is part of the process.  You build up your hopes for something to happen and you end up disappointed if it does not.  However, how narrow did you imagine?  Did you hope for something too specific?  Did you LIMIT the possibilities?  When you are too narrow in your focus and willingness to be open to the possibilities, you will see more disappointment than if you are open to what you might not even know exists.

You have already obtained a lot of experience in making choices.  What classes to take.  What school to attend.  What to major in.  And, just when you thought it was all passed you, even harder choices start presenting themselves.  Choices like what career you want to work towards or where to start your new “adult” life.  However, as so many folks around you could probably tell you, that is only the beginning.  YOU have a lot of freedom and power in having choices.  However, these options may not appear as  your own design.  You will not always be the one picking your options.  You might find this unfair.  However, I have learned that the way we live our lives and the direction we point it towards when we DO have the opportunity, are the very things that create the choices we are given.  So, even when you FEEL like the choice is not your own, ultimately, it really is.
This is why you want to learn as quickly as possible the one lesson that cannot be taught in any classroom.  And, that lesson is that NO view is singular.  No choice is without consequences or absent of the potential of affecting something or someone else, even if it is not clear.
View this as a strength and a power you have been given, rather than a burden.  YOU have power.

Finally, as much as you want to map out your future right this minute, don’t.  Life is not that simple.  Yes, decide where you want to go, but let the route you take to get there be flexible.  You will sometimes want to take the scenic route.  That is a good thing!  Slow down enough to enjoy it as you experience it, and don’t be in such a hurry.  You are going to come upon what you view as roadblocks or obstacles.  Change your viewpoint.  These are merely detours.

Ultimately, you will get where you are INTENDED to be.  You might not get there the way you envisioned, and the destination might not even be where you set out to go.  However, there is a plan for you.  Trust that you will be given every opportunity to reach your potential.  It is on YOU to take advantage of those opportunities.  YOU have the potential and the power.
Do not take either for granted.

Congratulations!

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