Sandee Sez: Enjoy our life, grads, & be true to you
- Sandra Ahenakew | August 02, 2015
Congratulations to the 2015 graduates. I bet you were excited about graduation, but worried about your life after the speeches are said, and caps are thrown onto the air. Will you discover your true passion? What about failure and success? How will you say goodbye to people you will be leaving behind? It’s important to acknowledge the people who have touched your life. I am fortunate to come from a large family and we have had many graduations to celebrate this summer from Kindergarten, Grade 8, Grade 12, University Convocations and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan.
Each educational achievement is a milestone. In Kindergarten we see our little ones becoming more independent and mostly happy to spend the half days at school. The next 8 years will be challenging with many changes happening at the same time; classes are getting tougher, friendships trickier and then puberty strikes - parents hang on and encourage your children because before you can blink your children will be saying farewell to Grade 8.
High School is the next step which some people say it is the best time of their lives while others (including me) disagree. High school was difficult for an Aboriginal teenager in the 1980’s we dealt with racism and ignorance daily and don’t get me started on the bullying!
On a positive note it was wonderful to see nephews from Grade 12 and grandson from Grade 8 quite an accomplishment from our young adults and future leaders. There are tough times ahead for these young graduates they will have to decide what they want to do with their futures. University or trades; travel or work? Some young people know exactly what they want do, be it a teacher, lawyer, carpenter or mechanic. Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do right now, Steve Jobs said “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know it when you find it.”
I was extremely proud of my older sister who received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan. She worked hard to be where she is and as she gets closer to retiring it is wonderful to see others acknowledge for her dedication to education and social justice. In her speech she told graduates to be proud of who they were and where they came from. “Be bold, curious and open, take a risk. It’s a tough lesson, but you need to accept failure as a part of the learning process. Don’t worry if you don’t know what you will do with your life. Things happen, your views change and new opportunities appear.” She ended her speech by telling graduates to remember that a good education and a good standard of living is a privilege not a right. Think about your neighbors or the people you see on the street. What can you do to help them and the community?
“There are many challenges in our world right now. Sometimes it can be overwhelming there are social issues such as racism and inequity, environmental issues and economic problems. We can’t take them all on but we can do our part. Get involved make a contribution do your part. This is an exciting time for you; there is lots of learning and adventures ahead of you. Enjoy the journey ahead; learn who you are and where you can make a difference. Life is short, enjoy it and be happy.” I’m so very proud of all the graduates. As they take their place in this world let’s encourage and support them; love and acknowledge them.
Advice for us all – enjoy your life. Spend time with your family and most importantly; love yourself. Remember your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your intuition and heart. It is my hope that all of you reading will choose to take care of your health and make good choices for your futures and the futures of the graduates. I enjoy hearing from you. Contact me at Sandee Sez c/o Eagle Feather News, P.O. Box 924 Station Main, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3M4 or by email.