To the many students who make up the Class of 2010: We won’t torture you with another reminder of how tough the job market is. You know that, or you will know it soon. This is our advice for the rest of your life, your life outside of work, whether that work is meaningful or menial, or whether you are fortunate to get a job at all: You still need to grow.
To the many students who make up the Class of 2010: We won’t torture you with another reminder of how tough the job market is. You know that, or you will know it soon.
This is our advice for the rest of your life, your life outside of work, whether that work is meaningful or menial, or whether you are fortunate to get a job at all: You still need to grow.
Consider that your most important job from here on.
We won’t write The Guidebook to Life. We leave that to Dr. Phil. But this we know. Your life will bring you disappointment and frustration, whether it’s joblessness or something else.
The measure of your life is how you handle those disappointments.
You may be resentful of your classmate who landed a job because of whom she knew, not what she knew. You may be smarter, wittier and more good-looking. You may have more college debt; she may have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
Be charitable. Be generous. Congratulate her. And if you run into her two years or five years or 10 years from now and she is miserable, listen kindly. Share with her your own ways to cope.
If you snicker and say something like, “Be careful what you wish for,” your education has failed you.
All you’ve learned is how to have the last word — to see everything through your own prism, which is more limited than you think.
Trust us. When you get older, you really do get wiser, because each day, every day, is a lesson in how limited your prism really is.
No matter how many degrees you have and how much money you make, the value of patience, the currency of a kind word and the power of a smile are the only things that matter.
It’s the universal language you might as well learn now, before too many fruitless interviews and ignored resumes get you down.
If none of this advice works for you, try what’s below. They are excerpts from commencement speeches:
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, at DePaul University, 1997: “Learning is the best antidote to and against ignorance and fanaticism and hatred. How is it that all racists are so stupid? To believe that because one has a different color of skin, or comes from a different ethnic origin, or belongs to a different religious group, one is superior or inferior is stupid. Learning is an antidote because when we learn, no matter who we are and where we come from, we still are marveling at the beauty of a sentence or cadence by Shakespeare, or an idea by Plato. Learning, therefore, is what brings people together. Continue to learn.”
Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show,” at William & Mary, 2004: “So I know that the decisions that I made after college worked out. But at the time I didn’t know that they would. See, college is not necessarily predictive of your future success. And it’s the kind of thing where the path that I chose obviously wouldn’t work for you. For one, you’re not very funny.”
Anna Quindlen, author, at Mount Holyoke College, 1999: “You will have to bend all your will not to march to the music that all of those great ‘theys’ out there pipe on their flutes. ... Look inside. That way lies dancing to the melodies spun out by your own heart. This is a symphony. All the rest are jingles... When I quit The New York Times to be a full-time mother, the voices of the world said I was nuts. When I quit it again to be a full-time novelist, they said I was nuts again. But I am not nuts. I am happy. I am successful on my own terms. Because if your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”
Rockford (Ill.) Register Star