By Armand Hodge
Graduation!! What are some things that come to mind when you hear this word? Success, accomplishment, tears, laughs, walking across the stage, farewell, a new journey, happiness, freedom. I’m proud to say in a couple weeks my fellow senior classmates will experience some of these feelings. Even though I’m graduating this December, I am truly proud of my classmates and friends getting ready to graduate on May 18.
Four years ago we came in as freshmen; probably nervous and no knowing what to expect. Now, here we are four years later, getting ready to graduate as young adults getting ready to for the next journey in our lives. As this will be my final editorial as editor of The Spectrum Online, I would like to give my classmates and friends some words of wisdom that I think will help guide them on their journey.
Many of us can say these past four years were tough. Emotionally, physically, mentally, it seems likes many of us had our challenges. But one thing I've learned is that you might not realize how much of an impact you may have had on others' lives. God is going to hand you opportunities. But it is up to you to take advantage of them. Whether it's to make you stronger, make you better, make you healthier, make you smarter, more trustworthy, wealthier, it is up to you. We are blessed in many ways. You should always count your blessings. When God hands you a blessing it's because he trusts you with it; it's because he trusts you will do great things with it. I like to say count your blessings because there is always somebody going through something worse than you are. Be grateful for your health, intelligence, strength, humor, courage, blessings and wealth. You don't necessarily have to have money to be wealthy.
I have learned these past four years that I'm one of the richest guys in the world. I'm not rich with money. I'm rich because of the opportunities I was blessed with. I'm rich because of the young man my parents have raised me to be. I'm rich because of the friends I've surrounded myself with. I'm rich because God allows me every morning to continue on my journey chasing my destiny. I'm rich because I “pay it forward” to others because I want to see people shine the same way I do. I'm rich because of the words I've embraced from my friends and people I have met along the way.
Some great words of wisdom I heard this year: “Anybody who's good at what they do can be called great, but to become legendary you have to make a statement or make a stance or have something that you live for or live by.” Greatness equals greatness. Allow God to give you compassion to strive on and push through the tough times. Embrace. Experience. Enjoy. The world is always watching and listening.
So as you, the graduating class of 2012 approach the end of your undergraduate journey, and as you spend time with your families and friends, learn from the mistakes you made while in college because mistakes are life lessons to learn.
Hold your head high as you walk into your careers, future endeavors, and the road to success and many blessings. Some of the best advice I can pass on to you all is “chase your dreams” along with those people who you know best. Learn from those you trust most. Respect the wisdom of those who have attained the place that you are striving toward. Embrace the promise of those that are paving their paths to greatness. Slowly, but at the right pace, sharpen your focus for the goals and achievements you have set in stone. Love your haters for your haters just add fuel to the flame to make you do better. Cut out any negativity or negative people that bring you down or cause emotional distress. Surround yourself with people and friends that support, encourage and motivate you, and be aware that there is always someone watching or listening to you.
Pay it forward to others, and do not expect something in return, but do it out the kindness of your heart and because it’s the right thing to do. Embrace those who really do reach out to you and do things for you because of the kindness of their hearts and because they genuinely care for you. Don't let anybody hold you back from chasing your goals, always count your blessings, take advantage of opportunities that can benefit your life, have faith and hope in God for he has hope and faith in you.
Thank those who help you and have done things that have made you better or make you happy. Always remember patience, handling your business and handling your priorities. Focus. No slacking. Be humble. Your destiny equals many blessings, love and happiness from God.
Congratulations to my classmates and friends of the graduating class of 2012. Enjoy the blessings that are about to come your way. Enjoy this moment of success that you all have achieved. Enjoy your rest and time with your loved ones. You all most definitely deserve it. Many blessings to you all. I love you all.