Congratulations to the Saint Dominic Academy Class of 2019! Today, I want to share with you my remarks from yesterday’s graduation ceremony.
Good afternoon, everyone. My dear seniors, this is the last time that I will stand before you and be able to offer you advice, insight and “wisdom”, although I am not always sure how wise I truly am. What I can tell you, is when I look out at you, I see my own little girl, ten years from now. And so, I did some reading and some reflecting on what advice I will someday give to her, as she heads out into the world. I am certain all of your mothers and fathers have given you valuable advice and life lessons that you will carry with you always. Now, if you will indulge me for just a few moments…here are some life lessons I learned as a young woman, and as your “school mom”, I’d like to share them with you.
Spend the money on the dress you love. Your OWN money, not your parents money. There will be a day where you find the dress of your dreams..the one that when you put it on, it makes you smile. And then…you’ll look at the price tag and put it back on the rack. Pick it up again- spend the money, treat yourself. Because when you feel you look your best, that’s the moment when your inner beauty shines through.
Never miss an opportunity to tell someone how you feel. If you love someone, tell them. Even if they don’t say it back, and at times they won’t…you will always regret not telling someone you love them.
Your words carry tremendous weight, choose them wisely. At all times, in every situation. We all lose our tempers and say things we regret. Imagine how much happier the world would be if we stopped before those regretful words came out of our mouths, thought about them for a moment, and then bit them back.
If you know the answer, raise your hand. In the college classroom, as a parent someday at a PTA meeting, in a work meeting. ( Ok maybe don’t raise your hand, but speak up!) Share your knowledge, let people know how intelligent you are. Never be afraid to be right.
Karma is real. Don’t be a mean girl. Yes, yes, the movie is funny, I’ll admit it. But really, who wants to go through life like Regina George and her Plastics? I know you all- NONE of you are mean girls. Don’t let anything you face in life turn you into a mean girl!
Use sunscreen. It sounds silly right now, I know. But I am looking out for your future- and the last thing you want is a call from your doctor about skin cancer…take a moment to spray on that sunscreen and take care of the beautiful skin that you have.
Listen to your gut, even when it disagrees with your head and your heart. Instinct is a powerful thing; almost every creature on the planet with the exception of humans act on instinct. If you feel something is not right for you, listen to that feeling. Just make sure you know the difference between instinct and impulse!
Know the difference between a disagreement and an argument. Try your best not to have either, but a disagreement does not always have to be personal; you can have a professional disagreement with a classmate, a colleague, a family member, but not hurt their feelings. In arguments feelings are always hurt and we always say things we regret.
Eat the cake. This is advice I have to follow myself. Be happy with who you are, enjoy the things in life that make you happy. Don’t worry about calories or fat or things like that every day for the rest of your life. Cake, in moderation, is meant to be enjoyed!
Always carry an extra hair-tie. Or else, rock a short haircut! You can see what I have chosen…so either keep an emergency supply somewhere, or you’ll one day be me saying “I’ve got to do something with this hair always hanging in my face!”
Friday nights are for takeout. Sometimes Tuesdays are, too. And this becomes perhaps the best advice I can offer you, especially as you get older. Nobody expects you to do it all…work, dinner, homework, etc. Splurge a little once or twice a week and order in and binge watch an entertaining show. It will do so much to keep you centered and focused for the other 5 days!
Ask for help when you need it. You’re an independent woman, not a superhero. Call your mom, your dad, your friends…come back to SDA and say “Can you help me with.____?” As I just said, not one of us can do it all, not you, not I. There are days when, if my friends could not help me out a little, I’d be lost. You’ll have those days too…so never be too proud to ask for assistance.
Love yourself. The people in this room right now love you very much. That’s why they are here celebrating this day. You will meet others in life who love you very much. And someday, I hope each of you meets the one true love of your life. Alas, all of that love that is focused on you will never truly touch your soul, unless you first truly love yourself.
And that is it…the end of my list, the end of my time as your Head of School…but we know well that this sisterhood at SDA has existed for 140 years and so today is not an ending…it’s the beginning of your future as proud alumnae of Saint Dominic Academy. I am so very lucky and proud to have shared this journey with you. I wish each of you the best of luck, and I am always here if you need anything.