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Note to Class of '09

Posted: June 28, 2009 9:33 p.m.
Updated: June 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Graduating from high school is really the beginning of a new phase of your life.

As you become more independent, you become more in control of your life, you get to make more decisions. I hope you have a good personality, stamina and ability to adapt, a sense of humor, intellectual curiosity and parents who will support your adventures as you navigate through life.

God has got your back. And sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing things you are not supposed to do.

So don't expect the perfect job that defines your life's work to come along this summer. It's OK to explore and search all your options. If you know what you want to be when you grow up, take the blessing and run with it. But, if not, be grateful to be on the path where you eventually want to be.

Education and knowledge is power. Being happy is also important.

Although there is a world of possibility open to you, always keep a positive outlook. If you decide to continue your education, this recession will end by the time you graduate from college.

All the hard work you put in to earn your degree will not go in vain as long as you continue to fight for your dreams.

Life is hard, harder than you ever imagined it to be. There will be days when you feel overwhelmed. Honestly, there are still many days I still have that feeling. There will be times when you debate whether or not it was all worth it. That's fine. Those feelings of doubt and insecurity are normal.

You may have to face naysayers who will be quick to quip that they "told you so," and will encourage you to do things you know aren't right for you. Ignore them. When you believe in yourself and your dreams and are motivated to keep making progress, whatever your heart desires, that's when you know you're successful. Happiness is success.

For two years after high school I have done things I used to think were beneath me, but one learns to suck it up if it's for the greater good. There have been times where I've broken down and felt defeated.

I had to remind myself that I am young and this is only the beginning. I worked jobs that were not fun, jobs where I worked long hours and on weekends, when all my friends were having fun. I missed out, but not really. The sacrifices I made then are paying off now. I love my career and life is good because of some good decisions I made when I was your age.

I am sorry that you're graduating in such a rocky period, but people have gone through worse and survived.

Yes, it might suck for a while. You will certainly get stressed out. Your happiness may come a bit later than you thought it would.

But take it in stride. That keeps me going. Be proud of yourself and all that you've accomplished so far.

It will get better. It has to.

Good luck! Everyone is so proud of you.


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