It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of the year again. I’m talking about graduation time. Over the next month you will hear and read a lot of fantastic graduation speeches. Well, my son is graduating from the University of Michigan this Saturday, and this is my commencement address to him.
Charles, I am very proud of you. I know that I put a lot of pressure on you as well as your sisters to attend Michigan and I hope it was as great an experience as I told you it would be. You have taken some wonderful classes from inspiring professors. Unfortunately, Michigan football was not Michigan football during your four years, but I will never forget how excited you were after defeating Notre Dame your freshman year. On the flip side, you experienced an incredible run by our basketball team your sophomore year and watched one of the true gentlemen of college sports, John Beilein. You have made incredible friends who will be with you for life. I am truly in awe of the relationships you have forged over the past four years.
As you are about to enter the next chapter of your life, I want to offer the following advice:
Be kind. It is so much easier to go through life with a smile and compassion in your heart. There is no room for nastiness or selfishness in this world, so please be kind and considerate of others.
Be engaged. Be aware of everything that is going around you. Remember, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. You must truly live in the moment.
Keep it simple. It really helps.
Eat well. There is so much bad food in the world and by that I mean food that is actually bad for you. Stay active, your body is a temple – treat it that way.
Be passionate .Whatever you believe in, be fully invested.
Trust your gut. Your inner compass will always guide you.
Be aware of easy money and scams. If something seems to be good to be true, it probably is.
Stay humble and appreciate what you have, not what you don’t.
Don’t watch the television news. It’s not news and it only serves to scare you and make you anxious.
Surround yourself with positive people.
Live within your means. If you spend more than you earn, it will lead to problems.
Save your money but don’t deprive yourself of joy.
Invest in yourself. Nothing is more rewarding than betting on you.
Appreciate good luck.
Never get too high or too low.
Only dead fish go with the flow.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what’s next. You’re not supposed to. Life is not a sprint, it’s a journey. Savor this next chapter. It will be hard at times but it will also be really exciting. You’ll figure it out. Words cannot express how proud I am and how much I love you. I am so excited for you and what you and your friends will do. Congratulations and Go Blue.