Yesterday I delivered a commencement speech to Fortis College graduates. It was truly an honor and privilege. To see the graduates on the day they had been aiming for, to see the excitement and possibilities as they walked across the stage brought back wonderful memories for me and the best wishes for them as they move forward. I can’t say my speech was the best, but I hope I planted a seed somewhere. As I was getting ready in the morning, that darn gastroenteritis flared up again and the nausea was daunting. But I made it, and sat next to the college president, who himself was barely recovering from surgery. We made a great pair. And as I reconnected with people who I used to work with at the college (I was the Dean of Nursing there until I had brain surgery), receiving lots of hugs and well wishes, it felt great to be welcomed back home. Fortis College employees love their students, love the work, and love each other. What a great place to be.
In my speech I encouraged graduates to not only use their skills when working with others, but to bring their authentic selves to connect with people and make a difference in their lives. I also gave them 3 tips for this time of transition: 1. Reboot – Take this time to re-define themselves. Integrate what they have leaned with who they are and make adjustments that will help them move forward. 2. Refocus – Go from making grades to making a difference. Now that school is over, it’s time to focus on other goals. 3. Relax – Take time for yourself.