Later this week, our baby boy (now 6' 2 ) will graduate from the University of Florida Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering with his Master's Degree.
We are so proud of him.
There is so much to learn for all of us from this year's group of Grads.
The ability to be resilient will take you far- the Covid lockdown was a test for us all, but imagine being a college student who had to trade your cool apartment and roommates for your mom and dad and a tiny desk in your bedroom.
This new generation of kids grew up with school shootings and a pandemic…What the heck!
They will now take these lessons learned into the world and teach us how to respond and grow.
Just because circumstances change, does not mean you give up on the destination; rework your map. My son was ready for his first internship in summer 2020. He had plans to see firsthand what he could do with his future. His destination stayed the same, but he reworked his map by securing an internship with a major corporation where he could do everything from that tiny desk in his bedroom. What can we all learn from this group about reworking our plans and becoming successful despite challenging circumstances?
Find mentors, and they will add fuel to your journey. I have delighted in the relationships my son has made throughout his years at UF. He speaks about some of his professors as role models and mentors. I still talk of my college mentor, Dr. Jim Seward…why, he taught me lessons I got to keep—isn't that the natural beauty of mentors? I am so glad Cole will have this opportunity as well.
Remember- How you got here and who was with you on the Journey. Both my kids met lifelong friends on their college journey. Dorm friends, sorority sisters, roommates, and others were there for them as they grew into "grown-ups." Remember, some people pass through your life to teach you something…others will be there to cheer you on forever.
Take chances and if you were wrong, retool, restart, and find the place in the world where you will be a star. When life throws you a curve ball (yes, this baseball reference is for Ben), step into the pitch and go for it! If you miss, try again- and if you miss again- retool, restart, and seek advice from the afore mention mentors and friends. But always remember to be brave and be the best at something, even if it takes some time to discover what that is.
The next chapter can be even better!!
After a summer of fun and adventure, my son is moving to Scottsdale, Arizona. He will be working there for the corporation that gave him the internship from the tiny desk in his bedroom.
He will be doing what he always wanted to do, Cyber Security.
I invite you as Fundraisers (and him as a cyber security guy) to remember the following;
Every new relationship starts when you step out of your comfort zone and say hello.
Share your story and listen to theirs—This will allow you to understand their goals differently and authentically.
Let everything you touch show the very best of you to the world.
Sometimes a quiet walk gives you perspective.
Be yourself- and be proud of what and who you represent.
To all those other extraordinary individuals who went spend months and even years studying from a tiny desk in your room…Congratulations, and thank you for showing us grown-ups how to move forward and grow no matter the circumstances.
He did it!!!!
May 5, 2023
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