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It's one of my favorite times of the year: graduation
Even though I'm done with school for now (I'd like to go back and get my masters degree at some point, maybe even a PhD), I love the memories it conjures up. 
My parents are college professors so they watch people graduate every year. I love seeing the dreams that people have fought for, come true.
Last night my sister graduated  high school from a local public school. It was very different from my other sister's graduation from the all girl's private school. But the speeches had the same message: To go and make something of yourself.
So here is my commencement speech for all the graduates (not that anyone asked.) Since it's been 4 years since I graduated college and 8 (eek!) since I graduated high school, I think I know a thing or two now about the real world.
Looking fly, that's me on the left, 2005.
To the class of 2013:
Congratulations! You are done with a chapter of your life. 
It's scary and exciting. Relish it. Go in with an open mind and have fun along the way. 
Life isn't cookie cutter and it's probably not going to turn out as planned. Know that that's OK. Find out what makes you happy and strive towards it. You can always change your mind or your path. I still change mine all the time. In fact, I still don't know what I'm doing or where I'll be. But that makes life interesting and challenging. 
Find something you are passionate about and make that your priority. Go to class. I know it's tempting to skip but studies show that just “showing up” keeps your grades higher and lets you study less. Get to know your teachers. Ask them questions. Ask for help. You don't have your parents in college, they can be a good source of guidance. Get organized to study. The faster you get organized the faster you can go party. And you should party. It's what's makes college fun. It's the most carefree you may ever feel. Go crazy. Just be smart about it. And be the designated driver occasionally. You don't always have to study. But you also don't always have to go out. But you do need both. Make memories. 
Be part of something: whether it's a fraternity, sorority, choir, church group, whatever, it will help you make friends and be a constant for you. I know you think you're busy- just wait until you're in the real world. You have plenty of time on your hands, so get involved. The friendships you foster here will be with you forever, if you're lucky. 
Lastly, I'll quote Steve Jobs “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Thank your parents (caregivers), take risks, try something new and be yourself. That's all we can really do in life. And remember, life is what you make it, it really can be “all good.” 
Congrats to the graduates!

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