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Words to the Graduates: Pack Light

Joined: 4/14/2014
Posts: 3
As the class of 2014 comes to it’s final stretch, I have one piece of advice for everyone who will spend the summer adventuring and trying to find a cure for wanderlust.

Pack light.

For the past four years, we’ve carried everything on our backs. From anxieties to secrets, and all of life’s worries, whether they’re big or small, to textbooks, binders, folders, notebooks, and enough Shakespeare that I will never compare anyone to a summer’s day - although I might want to bite my thumb at a few people.

So when you unload yourself in preparation for your next big adventure - pack light. Trade the weight of your textbooks for curiosity and an open mind. Squeeze in some patience beside your sunscreen. Assure your mother that you have, in fact, packed extra underwear. Leave your laptop at home. Take your phone, because your friends are going to want to know where you’ve been, and it has a camera. But more importantly, it has GPS, and you’re going to get lost. Have a back-up plan. Paper atlas’ are always on sale nowadays.

This is the kind of learning that you’ll never have to study. There is no curve in this test. Your experiences are incomparable to anyone elses, and there will be no class ranking. Your GPA doesn’t get you better gas mileage or a discount on gas station coffee. When you leave, don’t bring that weight with you.

Pack light.

Meet new people at carnivals in states you’ve never been to. Cross some things off of your bucket list and some cities off of your map. Explore freely and smartly. Challenge yourself to be humble, and stand up for others faster than others would stand up for you. Know that you won’t speak in every language you hear, and some things are better left unsaid; that being said, never regret not asking questions. Roll down the windows and turn up the radio. When you get lost in the middle of no where - look up. You can never spend enough time looking at the stars.

When you leave, you don’t have to know where you’re going. It’s not like we knew where we would end up when we were freshmen, worried about figuring out how to navigate hallways and trying to figure out how to actually stop by our lockers between classes.

So even if you didn’t do what you wanted to do while you were in high school, it’s okay. You have the rest of your life to figure out what you want to do, and you can always change your mind. Whether you’re going to college, or work, or on a road-trip that lasts the rest of your life - pack light. Because you never know what you’re going to pick up along the way.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your May: Words to the Grads speech being chosen as 1 of the 10 essays in the running for 1st place in this month’s writing competition. Be proud of your accomplishment; we selected your essay as a finalist out of 100s that were submitted this month.

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field.

We will post all winning essay results by June 20th. You can check this page for the results after June 20th:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 7:28:28 PM
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Comment by etiquetteguy

Joined: 6/22/2009
Posts: 52
Thanks for sharing these thoughts. Great advice - pack light. Nicely expressed with a refreshing depth.
Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 11:52:44 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Words to the Grads speech being selected as our winning essay for our May teen writing contest.

We will be contacting you via your registration email to give you details about your prizes.

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 8:07:11 PM
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Comment by Sophia Kaylee

Joined: 4/19/2014
Posts: 2
Congratulations on your win!
Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 3:52:44 AM
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