Helena Rodriquez: After graduation, get to know the new you

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By Helena Rodriguez

Guest Columnist

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you chose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go…”

These are not my words. These are from Dr. Seuss, in his keepsake book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” And they are directed to all of you upcoming graduates.

College graduation is coming up followed by high school graduations in the following weeks. As a high school, college and graduate school graduate myself, I’d like to share some words from my own commencements.

The only problem is I can’t remember what they said, I mean, besides, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

But I know they were encouraging words and they are entwined in my subconscious.

With graduation, you will experience many firsts. When I got my bachelor’s degree, I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I am the only person in my family with a master’s degree, too.

Since then, I’ve experienced life — some setbacks, some steps forward, many challenges, many unsettling moments of being forced to leave my comfort zone and a healthy dose of much-earned and deserved responsibility and misery.

That’s one way to look at it. But in some sense, misery is just abundant opportunity.

What do I mean? Well, it seems sometimes that the more you know the more you expect, from yourself and others. The more you know, the more you realize how much more there is to know.

It can be exhausting. And humbling. But while you are still the same person on the outside, you are not the same on the inside.

Get to know that person. Let other people know that person, too. And be the person you were meant to be.

In the words of Saint Catherine of Siena, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Helena Rodriguez is a Portales native. Contact her at Helena-Rodriguez@hotnmail.com

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