Another batch of Wildcats is ready to graduate on April 20. Just a few more weeks of lessons and dreaded finals to triumph, and Weber State University will be saying goodbye to some phenomenal members of the student body and making room for new members, ideas and even a new president to represent our school.

Now is the time for some practical words for these students on the way out. Sure, graduation is rife with inspiration (please, let us skip over the recitation of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss). Inspiration and praise are absolutely warranted at a graduation ceremony. Students leaving with a degree have taken a huge step and proven their commitment to the university, its professors and, most importantly, to themselves. This, however, is not a graduation ceremony.

Don’t lose your lust for knowledge. Just because there is no one grading you or expecting you to know every question on an exam doesn’t mean that this should be the end of seeking new knowledge and gaining understanding of other ideas, concepts or skill sets.

Yes, for many the formal classroom is now a thing of the past. But don’t let that be a hindrance. There are so many resources in the world. Travel, take a chance, take some classes just because and try new things. Now is your chance.

Take up that weird hobby that you keep telling yourself you’ll try in your “free time.” Start up that Comic Book of the Month club or upload some of those ukulele covers on YouTube. Walk across the state of Indiana or bake a life-size Stormtrooper cake. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

Think about what you’re truly taking away from WSU. There is no right or wrong answer, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be all academic knowledge. Maybe it is something as simple as leaving early to get that parking spot you like, or maybe it has something to do with a few friends you made along the way.

Thank those professors or instructors who really made the difference for you. Hopefully, there is at least one who will stay in your memory post-college as you enter into your career or whatever the next step of your life is. There are those faculty members who are here for their students even on their own personal time. Show them that hasn’t gone unnoticed over the years.

The final piece of wisdom (or maybe pseudo-wisdom, your call) is to be creative. Not necessarily by painting or writing, but create something that you are proud of. WSU’s resources have hopefully by now let you know that your ideas are valued and can make a difference. Go away knowing that there is something that you can contribute to yourself and others.

So maybe that was a little bit on the inspirational side (and it didn’t even rhyme; sorry, Mr. Geisel). If it was a little bit on the inspirational/general side of advice for your taste, maybe just consider it a practice run for all of the speeches you get to listen to at the graduation ceremony.

Good luck, Wildcats!

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