Graduation Inspires “Big Thoughts”

This is the time of year that students who are graduating (and their parents) take time to look back while at the same time look forward and plan for the future. It has made me think of a couple of clients who came to me at at a time they were at a ‘fork in the road’, and trying to decide what to do next.

The first one came to visit me a couple of years ago near the end of her freshman year of college, and a colleague referred her to me because she was having second thoughts about the major she had chosen (Architecture). After reviewing her assessment results and visiting with her and her parents, two things became readily apparent: she was having to work harder in school than she had expected (and she didn’t know if it was worth it), and she appeared to be a really good fit for the career she had chosen. When she left my office that day, I didn’t know if she would stick it out – or choose an easier path.

Last week I got a request to connect with her on LinkedIn, and she shared that she not only decided to stick it out, but that she had an internship this summer with one of the most prestigious Architectural firms in the country! I was thrilled for her!

The second example is a little more unique. He is 27 years old and has limited college credits under his belt. He has moved around some in his life, had some family and personal challenges to deal with, and life has been hard in some ways. He has some ideas about professions he would like to pursue, and they seem to be in alignment with how he is wired. It won’t be an easy path for him, either, but because he seems to be a good fit, I hope he chooses to do what it takes to launch his career. Time will tell on this one.

I receive over 100 e-mails a day, and most get deleted without being read. One that I do try to read every day is the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture. I liked his review last week of graduation speeches.

If I could speak to high school (or college) grads today, I’d probably keep it pretty simple:

  • Most of you have been given a tremendous amount from your parents (and given even more from God)
  • Don’t expect life to be easy, and sometimes even hard can be extremely fun
  • Learn from the failures AND the successes
  • The more you can align how you are gifted to the the work that you do the better things are likely to turn out!