Sunday, May 9, 2010
Your Future after Graduation: A Spirit of Optimism is in the Air
I had the opportunity this past week to participate in two different but remarkably similar events.
I wrote about one, Curry College's Awards Night, in a previ0us post. It was a wonderful evening in which the accomplishments of both faculty members and graduating seniors were recognized. The smiles on everyone's face erased the angst of exam-taking (and exam-grading!) and absolutely underscored the value of going above and beyond what is expected.
The other was at Regis College, where I teach graduate courses in Conflict Management and Health Communication Management. This event was the students' presentations of their master's theses...a mini-show-'n-tell that gave each student a chance to discuss the topic on which he or she had spent what probably felt like a lifetime of research and writing. Some were visibly nervous; others were outwardly calm and collected. All were obviously delighted to mark the end of their studies while being cheered on by fellow students as well as faculty.
It struck me as I was ironing clothes (don't we all?!?) that this week marked a rite of passage for both sets of students. Their studies are officially ended, and they are now embarking on the next leg of that amazing journey called "life."
What I observed at the finish of each event was that each student seemed to stand a bit straighter and step out a bit more confidently, knowing that he or she had mastered this challenge and was prepared for what lies next.
And I, too, felt a stir of confidence. These future professionals (in the case of the undergrads) and rising professionals (the grads) have proven to themselves and to others that they are capable of taking on whatever life throws their way.
Will they encounter some difficulties? Yes! Will they sometimes question why they're doing whatever they're doing? You betcha!
But, as they move forward, the difficulties will become less so. And the questions will be replaced by answers borne of experience.
The cool thing for me is that I get to do this every year...to see the results of my and many others' efforts to guide and educate today's students. And the results are the many successes of our students.
"For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed." (Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet)