When it comes to graduations, I've been through a few. You could say . . . I have a lot of commencement-experience.
This picture-of-some-pictures (because scanner not feeling cooperative today) . . . shows a couple of early graduations: Tom's college graduation, undergraduate from Boise State University . . . and mine, undergraduate #2, from University of Texas at Austin. (Hook 'em!)
I don't remember much about either of those ceremonies. Except that they were long. (Really long.)
I don't remember any of the speeches we heard that day, either. (I do, however, remember that at Erin's graduation - four years ago - there was talk about some sort of acorn, or maybe it was a walnut, taking root and growing into a tree. And I also remember that at Brian's graduation - last year - the speech started strong, but went on and on and on for far too long. There was one "theme word" that the speaker used over and over and over. I can't remember it anymore -- I have purged it from my mind.)
This week, Carole asks us what you would say if giving a commencement address. Me? Well, first, I'd keep it super brief. Then, I'd say . . .
- Congratulations on this most wonderful of accomplishments.
- As you move out into the world, you can apply the lessons you learned in college nearly everywhere you go: read the syllabus, pay attention to deadlines, figure out how to prioritize, and show up.
- (Drinking games and college songs will also serve you well in the non-academic world.)
- "Graduation" is not the end of anything; it is the "commencement" of the next phase of your life. The next phases won't be as neatly mapped out as your course requirements for graduation were, though, so you'll just have to wing it.
- Speaking of wings . . . be sure to spread them!
- Try new things.
- Make mistakes.
- Learn from those mistakes.
- Live big!
- And don't forget to thank the people who got you this far.
How about YOU? What would you say if you were giving a commencement address?
As I was looking through old photos of graduations yesterday, I spied this little box that I keep up in my bedroom. (That's my high school graduation tassle there on top. I keep it in the little box, along with other little mementoes of earlier times.)
When I graduated from high school, the local furniture store (Grier Furniture in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming) gave each girl graduate a mini cedar chest just like mine. I think that used to be a Thing. Anyone else get one of these from their local furniture store?