Graduation Speech

For the first time in over 7 years I went to college. Cornell Commencement was this past Memorial Day weekend. I gathered there with my family to watch my brother walk across a stage and become a PhD. Dr. Yu. We listened to Captain Mark Kelly give a speech about his life’s lessons and that made me think what if I were asked to give a commencement speech? How important or influential I would have to be to be asked to give a commencement speech, and would I ever get to that point in my life? Do I want to be in a position like that? I think so. I’ve always aspired to be great and to always do more. However I would say right now I’m only just ok with where I’ve taken my life. But Mark Kelly is probably near 60. My career has only begun. So who knows where I’ll be in 30 years.

However, right now I would give these few thoughts of advice to the younger me.

Take time to reflect. I’m the kind of person who will go from one thing to another, not taking the time to slow down and reflect on what I’ve learned or done or whether I’m still happy or not. Especially after college where I left feeling like everything was just a blur. I really don’t feel like I grew up until my mid twenties and it was because I didn’t take the time to stop and ask…”What am I doing with my life and why?” “Is it still making me happy?” “What would make me happy?” The answers to these questions can remain the same for years or change over the years. Eitherway I have to take the time to realize the answers to those questions.

Share. Share your life, share your thoughts, share your insecurities. Be a little vulnerable and you will become a little better. Being open is better than being closed.

Ask for advice. You don’t have to take it, so just ask anyway. Perspective is what you’re going for here. Gaining perspective is the best way to grow wise. You are only one brain and will definitely miss things so just ask and see what people say. If you have a friend that always says the same things you are thinking, then make some new friends.

Know yourself, be honest with yourself. So much of life can be spent being accommodating or serving, but you have to find a balance between serving yourself and serving others. No one will take care of you or put you first except you. The best way to be happy is to be true to you and to let others know the true you.

Don’t worry about what others think of you. Seriously. This maybe cliche but also one of the hardest things to do. I finally got the hang of this when I realized that most people aren’t thinking bad things about you.

I could say so many more things, but I think these are the biggest ideas that have made my life way better.

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