Dear Graduates

We are rewarded in public for what we do in private

I imagine as you get dressed for the day your stomach might have some butterflies. They are tickling your insides telling you something big is happening. A page is turning in your life’s book. The small gust of wind escapes as the page collapses and another chapter is surfaced. Along that gust of wind is all your past experiences as a student.

The faces of the friends, teachers, and mentors who influenced you flash across your mind. Be thankful for them because they have shaped the person you are today.

All the pressures of finishing for your own benefit, to make your parents proud, to provide for your family are all being summed up as you walk across the stage and accept your diploma. Congratulations, you have accomplished a great honor. I hope you are proud of yourself.

You overcame your fears. Your worries come to a halt as you breathe a sigh of relief for not only facing them but for overcoming countless challenges. You are a warrior, strong and skilled, ready to fight for your dreams.

I hope you breathe in the present moment and pay attention to the details. Graduation is a special day created just for you.

During this past year of college, I realized something very important. Our community depends on our education. There are so many small businesses, people, and niche’s that need your help. If you can actively listen to your surroundings you will see all of the problems.

Examine these problems. Break them down into smaller ones. And BE the solution.

Make yourself useful if you have a solution and the people you help will be so grateful that they will take care of you.

This will start a circle of reciprocity and you will be successful. All you have to do is start. Just begin. Listen to conversations, put yourself out there and take the risks of approaching the unfamiliar because you never know who needs you at that moment.

Each and every one of you is so important in the fabric of life that we all depend on. I want you to realize that you have a unique skill and the experiences you have lived up into this very moment defines everything that you are and can offer the world. There truly is only one of you and we need what you have to offer.

I hope you get scared again. I hope you become dissatisfied. And in those moments I hope you summon the courage to battle through and change your perspective inevitably changing the outcome.

To be dissatisfied is good, it means you desire something bigger and better for your life. Be bold and go after it. Our lives are filled with peaks and valleys, knowing this makes it easier to weather the rise and fall of them because you know what’s coming after the peak and you know what’s ahead of you in the valley.

Your college experience may be over, but your path of learning should never end.

It is your job to be better this year than you were last year,

Graduates, my wish for you is to positively impact your surroundings. The small things add up. Holding a door for someone, smiling at a stranger, paying kindness forward, saying thank you, looking someone in the eye and acknowledging their existence- all of these tiny things add up to HUGE things. The more kind souls we have in the world the better our world is for our loved ones, the people that motivate us to be our best selves in the first place.

Take care of yourself, graduates, be gentle with yourself when you fail, be kind even when you feel it’s undeserved, and most importantly be proud of who you’ve become.

One Comment

  1. Sandy Hartley

    Hi Lily- I only know you through your mom at school, but I am so proud of you and your accomplishments! I have read through some of your blog posts and really enjoy the genuineness and rawness of your writing! You inspire me to want to be better and do more. There is no doubt that God has great plans for you!
    Congratulations on your graduation!


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