Don’t Freak Out: This Year’s Key Graduation Message

First the Juggle Team would like to congratulate everyone that is graduating this year.
You did it! You “juggled” it all and succeeded!

I attend the graduation ceremony at the university where I teach and I heard about various other ceremonies from friends and family.

Then I decided to spend a little time on YouTube watching commencement speeches. Okay – this might seem like an odd thing to do, but like any dive into YouTube it did not take  long before I was hooked.

I challenged the Juggle Team to do the same and to recommend a speech that they thought was engaging and delivered the best message to this year’s graduating class.

A common theme in the speeches was telling graduates not to worry  if they didn’t have a job lined up or if they didn’t know exactly what they were doing after graduation. Speakers encouraged graduates to remain open to possibilities, which we all thought was good advice. However, there was one speaker that actually used the term “freak out” and went well beyond reassuring graduates that it would all work out.

And so the winner of the Juggle Team’s best graduation address for 2015 goes to …. Meredith Vieira’s address to Boston University.

Why did we love this speech?

1. used personal stories and was completely believable.
2. dispelled myths about millennial grads being unprepared for work.
3. pointed out to business and parents that in all generations there are those that work hard and those that don’t – stressing it is not just a millennial generation weakness.
4. talked about work/life balance and the importance of making decisions that are personally right for yourself.
5. described the reality of loyalty as a two way street.
6. stressed that life is full of curve balls even for those that think they have it all figured out or those that even look like they have it all figured out.

However, her comment: “You actually want people to like YOU and not just give you likes” was our favorite advice from the 2015 commencement speeches we viewed.

It was refreshing to see Meredith genuinely believe in the future & millennial grads.

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Linda Pardy & the Juggle Team

By Linda Pardy & the Juggle Team

We are a diverse group drawn together by our passion for helping others build sustained career success. Our backgrounds include college & university advising, higher education administration, social work, university instruction, and interaction design. We also depend on the voices of undergraduate and graduate students to offer an unfiltered view of learning & earning issues.