Dear Class of 2017,
First of all, congrats on getting through the past 13 years of compulsory education. You deserve a nice award printed on cardstock placed into a nice folder for you to proudly display.
Celebrate today. Celebrate tomorrow. Celebrate for the rest of freakin’ summer if you choose to.
Then take this accomplishment, put it on the shelf and accomplish something bigger, of course: finish college, finish boot camp, finish trade school, or make that first dollar in your own business. That’s the message here: Don’t settle.
The easy stuff is over. It’s only going to get more difficult from here. I say that a lot, but it’s true. There are a lot of questions about your generation that you will help answer. A lot of it will rely on how hard you work and what you expect from it.
There’s a saying: “Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but what it does guarantee is no regrets.”
So ask yourself: “Did you work hard enough for this accomplishment? Would the 4- or 5-year old version of yourself say, ‘I look up to that person!'” For many, the answer should be yes, especially today when graduation hits you.
Take that mentality moving forward in your actions. Ask yourself: “Would the younger me be satisfied with what I did?”
If the answer is yes, then do it again Work hard, make the younger version of yourself proud of the person you’re becoming.
If the answer is no, I will remind you will not be defined by decisions. It’s never too late to make the switch to do something for the better, but it’s a choice you’re going have to make. Just remember: one of your goals should be to have the younger version of youself proud of everything you’ve become. Will 17-, 18-, 19-year old you be happy with what they see at 30? That’s the only thing to think about and focus on.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s too late. It’s never too late. The only time it is too late is when our time on this Earth runs out. So until then, you have time. Lots of it. Use it. Make the most of it because it will fly like the past 13 years.
It’s this mere knowledge that we all in fact will one day die that should push for change. Push for adaptation. Push to make the most of our abilities that we have or have yet to discover.
Like I told you all year: It’s on you. Your choice. Nobody will make you do anything. There will be consequences, but in the end, it’s you and only one. You all made the strong and smart choice to graduate and walk across that stage, heads held high and smiles.
You are officially my first senior class that I had the privilege of teaching for a full year. You’ve provided me with entertainment and hopefully you learned something along the way. If you need anything, I’m not too difficult to find.
Good luck. Good bye. Good night.
¡Tranquilo! Hasta luego. Adios.