“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: We have the power to imagine better.” — J K Rowling
Dear Class of 2020,
You made it. You’ve worked hard, and now, here you are, celebrating your well-earned academic success. Congratulations.
As you stand at the threshold of “adulthood” or what is sometimes called “real life”, there must be a whirlwind of questions blowing through your mind.
What lies ahead? What kind of career do I want to build? Am I making the right decisions? What if I fail? Will I find joy and meaning in the work I do and make a difference in the world? Will I do well and succeed on my own terms?
Big, scary questions for anyone on an ordinary day, and these are extraordinary times. But remember: So are you. This isn’t the graduation you had imagined. But remember: You have the power to imagine better. “You have the opportunity to learn these valuable lessons faster than the generations before you”, as one of heroines Michelle Obama said. “You can learn them together as a cohort of young people ready to take on the world no matter how tumultuous it may be.
Let this moment push you to improve yourself in all areas of your life. And if you can’t see where you should go from here, we urge you to listen to your heart. Of the plethora of questions you have, you might start with: “What kind of person do I want to be?”
The answers may not always come to you immediately, but don’t give up no matter what. “Keep pushing. Forget the fear. Forget the doubt. Keep investing and keep betting on yourself.” That’s what our other heroine, Beyoncé, advises. “Keep your eye on your intention. Don’t let any outside distraction or your own insecurity stop you from your goals. Embrace that struggle. Surviving that struggle will strengthen you.
The truth is, life is always going to proceed according to its own plans, and the future is beyond our control. All you can do, dear graduates, is your best for today. Don’t worry too much, don’t tomorrow today away. Now is all you really have. Now, this moment is yours to celebrate and be proud of — look what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come. Remember when you thought this was impossible? Step by step was how you overcame challenges past and got here, and step by step is how you will continue to overcome obstacles and get to where — and who — you want to be.
When you look back on this time years from now, what do you think you’ll remember it by? The photographs and cards, the words of encouragement and gifts exchanged, likely via delivery, and mini parties of five. Most important of all, the choices you made. You chose to believe in yourself. You chose to step into your power and be the leader of your life. You chose to use your voice and privilege for good. And you chose how you want this chapter of your story to begin.
“Because it is dark outside, I will shine brighter."
And so it begins.
Class of 2020, may this be the beginning of a story you’ll be proud to keep writing and telling for very long time to come.
The Bynd Artisan Team