I may have never taught you, but I want you to hear this: I feel I know you. I taught you, kid. Or versions of you. Taught you in kindergarten, in Grade 3, again in Grade 5 and in Grade 7. You moved quickly through the years. And now you are finally here, at the pinnacle of your secondary schooling career. You've reached the top, kid. This is it.
June can be the month when students are immersed in the world of carefree parties, peers and possibilities. The festivities surrounding grade 12 graduation events tend to be an exercise in pushing boundaries, creating memories and grasping the moment. This is all very exciting for the youth involved, and somewhat terrifying for the parents of these youth.
Graduation is a time for celebration, but it can also be as scary as hell. It's the official transition into adulthood, a transition into the real world, where people go to work and pay the bills. That can be a lot of pressure. Give the grad in your life one of these books to take the edge off and leave them feeling inspired about what's next.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that today is available to everyone. And like any tool, there is a right and wrong way of using it. While recruiters are not necessarily interested in millennials' selfies or meals, hiring managers are certainly looking to their profiles, timelines and boards to vet candidates and learn more about them.
I've heard it said that a person's true personality comes out in a crisis. If that's true, then thousands of people may well have fallen (further) in love with Calgary's own Mayor Nenshi these past few days. When Nenshi ran for mayor three years ago, he wasn't a serious contender according to the pollsters. Still, my husband and I put a sign on our lawn, believing that this Harvard-educated, articulate, and worldly young Calgarian was the future we wanted for our city.
Those graduating from post-secondary programs this spring faced the harsh reality that student loan debt in the country has exceeded $15 billion. When our financial leaders speak of Canada's current personal debt, they speak about monetary considerations like tightening mortgage rules and anticipated interest rate increases. But we don't hear many comments about current debt loads that go beyond the economics of the issue. What about the social changes that may be required to dealt with, or simply result from, all this debt?
If you had to give some advice to young graduates, what would it be? I threw out this question on LinkedIn as I had been asked to be a commencement speaker at the Sheridan College convocation. The responses were fascinating, varied, and often said much about the person offering the advice. So now I pass on some of this collected wisdom to you.
Looking back at this old life of mine, I realize how many of these fears, both big and small, were unfounded. But life as it is now, is seen through a cancer survivor's lens. Although I will be first to admit that there is the odd time when I have to stare fear in the eye, and fight to back it down, I fear much less today. Cancer has taught me a few things, and I don't scare easy.