Graduating during a Pandemic - High School Edition

It's convocation season! I deeply feel for high school graduates during the covid-19 pandemic. You've missed your convocation ceremony, prom, year book signing, your final months seeing your friends and teachers everyday before you go your separate ways. Some of you missed your final sports season, your final academic competitions and work experiences. I am really sorry that you've missed out on these experiences. I wish I could say there is a bright side, but the truth is that these experiences are really once in a lifetime. You will never be 17 or 18 years old and finishing high school again.

That being said, 10, 15 or 20 years from now, you won't really miss it that much. You'll move on to other experiences, meet new people and keep in touch with old classmates and friends through social media. A handful of people will come to your 10 year reunion and by the time your 20 year reunion comes around most people will forget high school all together. High school just isn't as big of a deal in your future as it was for your parents or the generations before you because of social media.

There are five things I wish someone told me when I graduated.

  1. Your future is so bright, but you will find it hard to find supporters. You'll meet a lot of people over the next few years that won't believe in your dreams and ambitions. They will discount your ideas for fear of failure. Adults are so scared to fail, they will do anything to prevent you from trying something where you could fail.

  2. There is no conventional path to success. Rarely, did a person's path to success follow a linear pattern.

  3. The real world isn't like TV and the movies. Things don't always work out and you will have hard times.

  4. You will make mistakes. You will make lots of bad decisions. The key thing is to learn from the mistake and take a different path next time. If you don't make your own mistakes you will never learn to be better.

  5. "Follow your passion" is the absolute worst advice ever. Very few people know what their passion is at the end of their teenage years. Heck, most people never find their passion. If you do end up monetizing your "passion", eventually it won't be a passion anymore.