Your next steps

Computer Science Teacher, Justin Mansor, gives guidance to the graduating class of 2023.

Author Kurt Vonnegut said that one of the best parts of being an educator is that most students have a memory of a teacher that made them excited about something they didn’t know, made them more interested in a topic, or allowed them to do something they didn’t know was even possible. Of course, the lessons you have learned and the growth you achieved in that time is incredibly valuable for so many reasons. As an educator, it is always amazing to see the development of students that happens from month to month and year to year, so thank you for being a part of that experience for me. These next few years, it is up to you to decide which direction that growth and development will take you. 

My advice for taking on these next few years is to find what works for you. You might do that by finding out what doesn’t work for you. You have more control over your life than most of the world makes it seem. There will always be unexpected challenges, and sometimes you just have to accept them and move on. It won’t be easy, but you will make it. I know that sounds cliché. 

One thing that took me a while to catch onto was the need for networking. Networking leads to opportunities. Find some ways to network in areas you are interested in. It helps to know what works for you first, but networking is always a benefit. You never know whose path you might cross later. It also helps to also be kind, because people will want to work with you.

I will end with a bit of advice borrowed from Vonnegut. It’s a reminder to stop and notice when things are going well. Graduation is certainly one of those moments, even if there are some doubts about what is next. You made it this far. You are just getting started: there is so much more to do. So if you remember this as you are walking down the aisle to accept that diploma, or when you are circling around, taking photos with family and friends, and every once in awhile when you feel that everything in the universe is working out for you: don’t be afraid to say out loud, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

The Merionite Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest news in your inbox, every issue.