Dear class of 2017:
The day you have been waiting 12 years has finally arrived.
If you haven’t already graduated, soon you will be walking in front of your fellow classmates to receive that coveted piece of paper you have worked so hard for.
Now please excuse me for paraphrasing lines from a song named "Sunscreen" and a movie called "Peggy Sue Got Married," but to be honest I have to use these phrases to get my point across.
I’m in my sixth decade of life. Let me share these things I’ve learned over the years.
To those of you who achieved the goal of receiving your diploma let me just share some thoughts I’ve learned over the years.
You will not walk into a high-paying job the Monday morning after graduation. I’m sorry to say it won’t happen.
You will wake up and realize that your parents will no longer yell at you from another room, "It’s time to get up and get ready for school."
Those days are over.
Now it’s actually your responsibility to make sure you wake up on time to go to work, or if you’re not employed, do chores around the house until you find a job.
Take it from me, the days of freeloading have come to an end for many of you.
You will more than likely wake up the weekend after graduation and mutter to yourself, "Now what am I going to do with the rest of my life?"
There’s no point in worrying about that, and here’s why.
Even at my age, I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. I’m still working on it.
Whatever you decide, you can rest assured that success will not come over night. You will endure failures until you discover what works for you.
Some of you may follow in a parent’s footsteps and join a military service, or pursue a PhD at an Ivy League college, or go on to play sports, or maybe just work at a local business.
The important thing is that whatever you choose to do, do it with passion because you’ve already crossed the first hurdle on the road of adulthood. You graduated.
Here’s some other things I’ve learned since my own graduation way, way back in the days of yore.
I’ve never had to use anything in life above adding and subtracting.
To be honest with you I hated mathematics, hated it with a passion and I thank the good Lord for calculators.
Paraphrasing a line from "Peggy Sue Got Married," when she told a fellow student who was stressing over a math test — I can assure you that you will never have a need for it when you graduate, or something to that affect — and Peggy Sue was right.
Another thing you won’t need, though I feel it is very important, is history.
You will have no need to remember who crossed the Delaware River, because there never will be a time that event will come up in a conversation.
Nonetheless, history is important to keep in the back of your mind. George Santana once said, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
History has proven him right. So even if you can’t remember who crossed the Delaware, remember that.
You’ve achieved a significant milestone in your life. Don’t be afraid what the future will hold, embrace your failures and successes.
Enjoy the surprises life will throw your way, because surprise makes life interesting. There will be ups and downs as you journey through the thing called adulthood, but never give up.
When life hands you lemons, take them with enthusiasm and make lemonade.
You set your destiny, so make the best of it and welcome to adulthood.