Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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This one is for the graduates. Specific words and a message of encouragement to those celebrating the completion of one chapter of their lives. And heading with full anticipation into the next. An incredible message of encouragement. This one is for you graduates. A letter to graduates to serve as a note of inspiration as you look to the next chapter of your very life.
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I have a passion for teaching, and on top of that, I have a specific enthusiasm for sharing words of encouragement and motivation. It’s a big part of what I do in the classroom for 10 years now. That also is the exact same reason why I show up weekly, on The Best Day Podcast, to encourage and motivate. Of course, to be real with you, but to hopefully inspire you with encouragement and words to live your best life.
Specifically, this word of encouragement is all about the graduates. A letter to graduates. A letter to encourage and motivate and inspire the graduating class of 2023. Now, if you are not a graduate, you are more than welcome to keep on reading. Truthfully, I hope that you do. I strongly encourage that. Take this as the ultimate pep talk to inspire you to continue to move forward, pursuing your dreams and believing in the best for us and those around us.
Take a moment and think back to when you yourself were graduating. I can remember my high school graduation, so clearly. I was on the cusp of the next big adventure, steps away from freedom. Walking into the unknown and it was thrilling. Of course, I knew where I was going and what I would be doing. But other than that, I didn’t know the exact details, and that was super exciting to me.
Then I can remember my college graduation. I can remember the close family that attended. Including, the post-graduation celebratory dinner, and the reality of the real world pressing on my shoulders. And from that moment, it was as if the rest of my life truly began.
One of the most unique parts about being a high school teacher is that part of the job requirement includes graduation. Every single school year, as a teacher, you work graduation. Either as a walking member of the faculty or as a homeroom teacher of a group of seniors, or as an actual duty. No matter the actual role you play, you are there. I have attended nine high school graduations at the school that I teach at, and each one of them is the same.
The overflow of joy, overwhelm of motions, as the celebration of an incredible accomplishment is commemorated. Followed by the journey to the next chapter of life officially begins. I love to see that on the graduating senior faces. I love to watch that from their family’s reactions. Furthermore, I love to see the post-graduation madness that storms the green outside of the convocation center where graduation is held as everyone hugs and rejoices and takes hundreds of photos.
To me, that is exciting. A constant reminder of the beautiful journey of life, a constant reminder of the promise that even as one chapter closes, as beautiful and special, that it was. There is always a next, a next that is full of equal amounts of promise, of hope and opportunity. And on that note, for those right there in that very moment, the moment where one chapter is closing and the next is so quickly beginning, here is a note of inspiration for you to inspire you and to empower you in this beautiful season of life.
Congratulations, you did it. I am so unbelievably excited for you as you embark on this amazing new chapter of your life. A chapter that I know is equally marked with excitement, but also worry and a little bit of fear as you truly walk into the unknown. Leaving in one world that you know so well and find comfort in and embark on truly a new chapter of your life, a chapter that will define you, a chapter that will pave the way for your future.
And for that, I am so incredibly excited for you. It truly is a moment to celebrate everything that you have come through, walked through every challenge, every battle that you have faced. And the victory you have found in completing this next stage of your life. You are graduating at a time where the technologies of the world are the most advanced, and the world is more connected than ever before.
Therefore, as a graduating class of 2023, you have an immense responsibility. Rather, I would like to refer to it as an honorable privilege to set out on your new journey and strive to make this world a better place. At a time where world tensions and emotions may seem more volatile than ever, I ask that you take your passions and fearlessly and fiercely pursue them.
You might have heard older generations point fingers at your generation an erupt and negativity over the falling and misguidedness of those growing up in the 21st century. And I just want to boldly proclaim over all of you this very day, this very moment that I don’t believe that. Talk for a second.
I have had the incredible honor of spending hours upon hours, five days a week, 18 weeks per semester, twice a year with your generation. And when I hear that negative talk, my direct responds to them as this. Have you spent quality time with this generation? Because I have and I have never seen a group of individuals who are more invested in furthering the wellbeing of society than themselves, who are more focused on doing what is honorable and right over what is easy and who have the ability to love and accept others regardless of differences and beliefs and values.
Therefore, I am certain beyond any doubt that you graduating class of 2023 have the ability to make this world a better place. We live in an age where people easily find themselves consumed with the harsh reality of the pains and the wrongdoings of this life. However, I ask that you overcome that darkness through your living, that every action you take, word you speak, and path that you cross, that you do it with the intention and the integrity of eradicating that darkness and bringing light.
What makes you happy? What makes your soul sing? Additionally, what makes your heart come alive? Absorb those passions, absorb those feelings and those moments. Work to create them for others. Have a contagious spirit, one that once people leave your presence, they are immediately overwhelmed with love and kindness. Live a life with purpose.
Every day is truly a gift, so appreciate it. Find joy in the every day. Find joy in the simple living. Life is one incredible adventure, but it is not always going to be mountaintops. There are going to be valleys and there are going to be planes. However, my challenge to you is to make the most of every situation you are in, find peace and comfort in the stillness.
Find joy even in the mundane, because when you can do that is when you can truly discover the meaning of living. Be positive, remain hopeful. Be intentional. Furthermore, make people feel like they belong. Have a heart that is filled with empathy. Empathy for those around you and the community that you live in. Set goals and work hard with determination and perseverance to obtain your goals.
Be ambitious. Go outside your comfort zone. Take risks, healthy risks. Act boldly with confidence and faith. Specifically, faith in yourself, faith in human kindness. Additionally, live a life that makes the lives of others better. Do not ever underestimate your impact, your power, and your ability to make someone believe in their purpose of living.
The purpose of believing in goodness and kindness and love, it is estimated that we will personally interact with about 80,000 people in our lifetime. You have two choices. When you interact with others, you can make their day better or you can make it worse. So why not be the best possible version of yourself?
Why not treat every single day as an incredible opportunity to go forth into this world and bring light and kindness. Speak life over others and situations they’re in. Encourage, let your heart be rooted in compassion and empathy. Believe that you can do what is necessary to make this world a truly better place. Know that you are capable and that you are ready! Understand that your dreams are your dreams for a reason, for a very specific purpose, and that you matter!
Your life matters. You have been equipped with gifts and talents, and your destiny is greatness. So speak life boldly and confidently every single day. Additionally, speak life over your dreams and your goals. Watch as those dreams become reality and watch as your goals turn into successes and victories.
Graduating class of 2023, you are standing at the threshold of opportunity. And it is up to you to determine just how many lives will be positively impacted by your presence. Therefore, let there be no limits to your goals. No fear in chasing your dreams and boldly embrace this next stage of the journey, which is the rest of your life.
You are going to do great things. I will cheer you on every single step of the way. You are destined for greatness! It is an honor and the greatest privilege to be able to take part of just a tiny bit of your journey. Wishing you the best day, always. Now go and change the world!