It’s fun to look through old graduation programs and read about the accomplishments of the graduates and all the plans they had for their futures. I remember wanting to be a forest ranger when I graduated from elementary school. It was my idea of a dream job when I was twelve. Comparatively few people ever get to work at their dream jobs. Many of the plans in those graduation programs never come to fruition; some people become impatient while training for a job and others have to take alternative employment and never make it back to their “dream jobs”.
Recent newscasts and Internet news feeds have been teeming with stories pertaining to graduations from a wide array of educational institutions. The stories garnering the most views are, of course, from those schools where either a celebrity commencement speaker made a profound or controversial statement or where something sensational occurred during the ceremonies.
As the speeches conclude, the class of 2015 is introduced, caps are thrown into the air and the newest aggregation of graduates takes flight. Like baby spiders, the new graduates will break away from the social web that was school and fly, dangling from their thin sailing strands, wherever the winds will carry them. Some have arranged matriculation. Others have no plans whatsoever; It’s like they’re saying “ready, set, now what?”.
Some students excel and accomplish great things at college. Others eventually come to the realization they just aren’t college material. I fondly remember John Belushi’s character “Bluto” saying “Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the (expletive) Peace Corps.” in National Lampoons’ 1978 film “Animal House”. Daniel Simpson Day, or “D-Day” (another character in the movie) had a 0.0 grade point average. Many successful people either discontinued their college educations short of completion, or they never stepped foot on a college campus in the first place. Bill Gates (Microsoft) dropped out of Harvard. Richard Branson (Virgin) never attended college. College is not always the answer to “Now What?”
So, if you’re a recent graduate, what IS the answer to “Now what?” That depends on your bent. I’ll offer this graduation advice; “Don’t focus on chasing the money. Unlike a bad reputation or regrets over a bad decision, money doesn’t last. Money also cannot buy a sense of satisfaction. If you go to college, make sure you go because you want to and need to, not because it’s what’s expected of you. You ask “What business should I pursue if I want to be rich?” Answer – the business of being about who you are. Be the brand of “you”. Be as careful not to listen to the naysayers as you are to not go along with the Greek Chorus. Put another way – misery loves company and has a lot of it. Why do you think it’s so loud? Seek the wisest counsel you can find; read the Bible and pray a lot.
Even if you have to pursue your career goals on a part-time or unpaid basis, don’t give up on that pursuit! Ready. Set. Be faithful! to the calling and gifts God gave you. Don’t wait. Start now! Who knows what gifts your accomplishments will bring to mankind?
© 2015 Curt Savage Media