Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Graduate

When I write "The Graduate" I can't help but think back to that 1960's movie starring Dustin Hoffman. "Plastics, The future is in plastics" his character was told. My older son just graduated and we are so proud of all his work. Yet I wonder what his future holds. Can someone give him a one-word answer?

Being a new college graduate is both exciting and anxiety-producing, for the young graduate and for his parents as well. On one-hand you have finished a major life goal, attend and graduate college. On the other hand, where do you set your sights next? The last 16 or so years of his life (not including preschool and Mommy & Me classes!) were linearly shaped with a single goal - graduate. Sure, there have been many side goals; become certified in SCUBA, make the NCAA baseball playoffs, etc. The main focus however has been finish school and then.... Well, now it is "and then".

I know that when I graduated many years ago I had no idea what my "and then" was going to be. I tried many things from stock broker to nurse to cake decorator. I enjoyed all in one way or another. But sometimes I envy those people who seem to have known what they wanted in life from the age of three. How could they possibly know what they wanted to do with their life? I never really "got it." And then, yes, and then, I think of all the wonderful experiences and learning I have had trying things. Not knowing my "and then" has opened many roads and choices in my life.

So, my dear son and all you other graduates out there. Your future is open. The possibilities are endless. Let it take you where it will. Learn from each and every experience and become better in the process. And in the oft quoted words of Rudyard Kipling, and then, "you'll be a man, my son."


  1. I am one of those that has always known my "and then", teacher. Since I was very young I have wanted to teach and can't imagine ever doing anything else. There was a point in there where I wanted to be a wildlife photographer for National Geographic because of some boy whose name I don't even remember. At times I wonder how I would be different if I had chosen a different path, but not often. --SciproAnnette