Part 3 of the graduation speech I gave several years ago:
This is one that has been a life saver to me many times throughout my life. The reality is, it is very hard to get through life alone. Even in the best of times, there will be many choices to make. And you will have questions about what makes the most sense for YOU. And in the more difficult times, when you are struggling with failure or being misunderstood or loss, the support of others around you can make all the difference, can get you back on your feet.
Lean on your FAMILY. Don’t be afraid or too cool to ask your parents for advice…about homework, about friends, about things you might have a hard time handling on your own like gangs or drugs. Hey! Your family loves you. They are in your corner. They have been through a lot of the same things you will go through soon. Let them help.
Make New Friends
New friends will stretch you in new ways, push you to grow. One of the special things about new friends (and teachers for that matter) is that Because they haven’t known you all your life, they will see you with fresh eyes. They will encourage you to grow new parts of yourself and become a more mature you.
Stay in Touch with Old Friends
Keep in close touch with your old friends. Your “growing up” buddies know your history and what that brings to who you are now. As you try on new identities, they will keep you honest and remind you who you are deep down inside.
As I used to sing with my own children when they were in nursery school (a long time ago but I still remember): “Make new friends but keep the old. One is sliver and the other’s gold.” Maybe sappy. But also very true.
Share your graduation stories and advice!