Every spring, football stadiums overflow with graduates anxiously awaiting the chance to toss their caps skyward. That is until 2020 and the arrival of the novel coronavirus.
Students are listening to speeches spoken by their class president and valedictorian from the comfort of their couch instead of a metal fold-up chair. Friends are separated by computer screens instead of yardage hash marks. Family members must stay six feet away.
But, while life today is much different than just a few short months ago, great commencement speech quotes have never been more inspiring. Three quotes stand out as a bright light we all can connect with.
Actor Matthew McConaughey, known for his roles from Dazed and Confused to The Gentlemen. may best be known for his trademarked “alright, alright, alright.” But during such a serious time as these, Matthew leaves us with this; “live in a way now where you can look back later and say, ‘I think I handled that pretty well.’” A quote appropriate for any time we face a challenge.
Life if tough, but we will survive. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook reminds us in his 2020 commencement speech to look inside ourselves and understand life truly is a gift. In his speech, Tim opines “those of us who can look back on this time and remember inconveniences and even boredom can count themselves lucky. Many more will know real hardship and fear.”
Fans of This Is Us are familiar with Sterling K Brown. As an actor, Sterling’s career has started and stopped many times over. He sees this moment as an opportunity to begin anew, “where you start in life does not dictate where you end up. While the circumstances of your graduation may not be ideal, you will look back on this event with the clarity of 20/20 vision and recognize it as a beautiful beginning to where you are now.”
Homeschooling and remote work have become commonplace. Face masks and virtual events are daily occurrences. And yet, there will eventually be an end to this incredible period in human history. There will also be a time when we can again look toward better days. But until then, it is okay to acknowledge today’s reality as Kristen Bell eloquently stated, “this blows!”