Americans in particular are myopic. They’re not traveling as much. When you were a college student, the next thing you would do on graduation was to take a year off and travel. That’s what I did. I went to Indonesia.
I was full of pride when President Obama talked about coding in his last State of the Union address. I was proud when Chicago recently made computer science mandatory as a requirement for graduation. To see this elevate to the level of a bigger conversation is progress.
God wants us to know that life is a series of beginnings, not endings. Just as graduations are not terminations, but commencements. Creation is an ongoing process, and when we create a perfect world where love and compassion are shared by all, suffering will cease.
When my mother took her turn to sit in a gown at her graduation, she thought she only had two career options: nursing and teaching. She raised me and my sister to believe that we could do anything, and we believed her.
Since graduation, I have measured time in 4-by-5-inch pieces of paper, four days on the left and three on the right. Every social engagement, interview, reading, flight, doctor’s appointment, birthday and dry-cleaning reminder has been handwritten between metal loops.
You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.
Some go on to trade schools or get further training for jobs they are interested in. Some go into the arts, some are craftsmen, some take a little time out to travel, and some start their own businesses. But our graduates find and work at what they want to do.
I went to military college in Canada and graduated as an officer in the Navy but also as an engineer.
College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.
For many, graduation marks the end of formal student life – the end of long spring breaks and of thinking that a 10 A.M. class is far too early.