I graduated high school in 1989. Yes, for those doing the math, I’ll help you out; I’ll be 50 in early July. When I graduated the world was still a pretty simple place. The 80s in general were a pretty basic period of time marked largely by poor fashion and awesome tunes (I’m looking at you, The Bangles and Simple Minds). My point is life was straightforward. Graduate, go through all the pomp and circumstance, work all summer and head to university (in my case). Easy breezy lemon squeezy.
And normally this space would be my “ode to the grads” where I would share some of my astounding wisdom, and hope to provide them a nugget of information or support or guidance as they move forward in the world.
But frankly, we’ve now spent some 16 months in a global pandemic, and my normal comments may not pass muster when put alongside COVID-19.
Or will they?
The fact is some of the best advice I can give to anyone at any point in their lives is this: Think outside the box. Be flexible and be creative in regards to how you achieve your goals. And I would suggest this advice applies in spades to the soon to be post-pandemic world (well, as much as there will ever be a post-pandemic world).
COVID-19 highlighted, amongst many things, that life isn’t always going to take the path you predicted or planned for, and having the ability to think on the fly, problem solve, and adjust to new ways of doing old things are invaluable life skills. What I hope is that through all this change and challenge, it’s made our grads really sit and consider what they want to do in life, and how to achieve that goal.
So, my biggest piece of advice? Don’t be in a rush. Take all the time you need deciding what your next step will be. And don’t be afraid to consider options you may not have a year ago or six months ago or two days ago.
From all of us at the Courier, congratulations to the class of 2021.
I’ll let Ferris Bueller play us out:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”