Dear AL and NK,
If you are reading this, you have found the secret to my blog and my YouTube channel. I hope you enjoy.
As you graduate tonight, you are probably thinking about the many things you are both leaving behind and looking forward to. Let me leave you with a few words of – I hope – wisdom.
As you go into the next phase of your life, you will be presented with a lot of options and a lot of opportunities. I hope you will take advantage of many of these, to explore and enjoy and shape who you are. The next few years will be a perfect time to try out so many new things, but please beware of a common myth. It is often said that 30 is the new 20, but trust me, it is not.
The early to mid 20s is the last developmental period for the brain, and this is the time that your brain will form into who you will be for the rest of your adult life. This is not a time to take a hiatus, or to think of life as a trial run. Rather, this is the time to shape who you will be for the rest of your life. By all means, try out new things and explore and make new friends and fail and try again and enjoy this time to its fullest, but please do not act as if what you do now does not count. The relationships and colleges and friends and experiences you choose now will lay the foundation for the rest of your life.
Speaking of trial runs, AL, you gave me your yearbook to sign before anyone else and I feel like I did not do it justice. Let me make it amends here. I am so glad to have had the privilege to get to know you. You have been a joy in my class every day, coming in with a great attitude and ready to cheer anyone up. You have been extraordinarily helpful and polite and compassionate and caring to those around you, and these are qualities that I respect and that someday will be cherished by your someone special. I look forward to seeing the man that you will grow to become.
NK, you have been a light in my class every day with your wonderful smile and your ceaseless good humor. You have the desire to learn and willingness to take risks that will take you far in life. You also have the great fortune to hang around friends who will support and encourage you to do anything. Treasure this and keep good friends no matter where you go.
To both of you, and to all of my seniors who are graduating tonight, I wish you well, love, dreams and happiness in your life.