Graduation, commencement, etc.
Posted June 15, 2012on:
When folks complete their study in universities here, they attend graduation ceremonies. In places in like the USA, they attend commencement ceremonies.
In one case, you mark the end of university. In the other, you mark the start of the next phase in life. Both are true, of course, but one is more forward looking.
Neither hints at the need for lifelong learning.
I love learning all the time and that is why I enjoyed Neil Gaiman‘s recent commencement speech. For one thing, I learnt that he did not attend university. Oh, the irony!
Here is some advice from the school of life that he offered to those starting out:
- Not knowing the rules allows you to do the impossible
- Follow your passion: Do what you enjoy, don’t do it for the money
- Make mistakes and learn from failure
- Do only what you can do
- Do what it takes to get things done
- Enjoy your successes
These might seem straightforward from an academic point of view. You could just read about them in self-help or life advice books.
But these principles were gleaned from a body of work and passionately brought to life by someone who has experienced them firsthand. These are the marks of a lifelong learner and one who learns from what life throws at him.
Most graduates will admit to saying “No more school/books!” or “No more studying!” They are wrong if they think they can stop learning. That journey is only about to begin.