Congratulations, Graduates!

Your big day has arrived.  You have studied, taken tests, written papers, attended class, finished group projects, completed intern projects.  And now you can shine proudly and confidently as a graduate.

There’s a big difference between book smarts and wisdom gained from life experience.  You have undoubtedly aced all of your finals, handed in your papers and ultimately earned your degree.  Now, take a step back from your textbooks and allow yourself to learn some life lessons one quote at a time.

You can spend your life tripping on yourself; you can also spend your life tripping yourself up. Get out of your own way. – Susan-Lori Parks

And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for you being here. Make good art. – Neil Gaiman

There’s no there. That elusive ‘there’ with the job, the beach house, the dream, it’s not out there. There is here. It’s in you… right now. – Brian Kenny

You will never see a U-haul behind a hearse. You can’t take it with you. – Denzel Washington

I could tell you that when you have trouble making up your mind about something, tell yourself you’ll settle it by flipping a coin. But don’t go by how the coin flips; go by your emotional reaction to the coin flip. Are you happy or sad it came up heads or tails? – David Brooks

“You’re going to have naysayers, and I’ll tell you, you will throughout your life have people who will tell you not good enough. Maybe they’re jealous. Maybe they think you aren’t. Maybe they’ve had a bad day. But ultimately you have to believe in yourself.” –Meredith Vieira

Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work.  The second is only part of the first. – Anna Quindlen

As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own. – Michael Dell

The best helping hand that you will ever receive is the one at the end of your own arm.  -Fred Dehner

During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. “Absolutely,” the professor said. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.”  -Joann C. Jones

At commencement you wear your square-shaped mortarboards.  My hope is that from time to time you will let your minds be bold, and wear sombreros.” Paul Freund

Share the best piece of advice you’ve received so far in a comment below!

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