It was my honor to serve as this year's alumni speaker for Bangkok Patana School's Graduating Class of 2020. Returning to my 'second home' after 7 years definitely brought back a sense of nostalgia and reminded me of the 'mixed feelings' I experienced upon leaving high school (what these students are probably experiencing right now). Excited for a whole new beginning, yet sad to move on from
Leaving high school is a major life event. Students will transition from the comfort of their homes to sharing dorm rooms with people they will have just met, from adolescence to adulthood, from growing up with familiar faces to getting to know everyone all over again, from trying to fit in to working hard to stand out. ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
As high school students (i.e. not kids, not yet adults), many of them impatiently waited for freedom. Now, as young adults in transition, the freedom they wanted/needed is in their hands. Freedom comes with choices. Choices come with decision-making and responsibility. During the talk, we covered 'active choices' the students can make as they transition and begin the next chapter in life:
- Take advantage of how they can finally focus on the one thing they are good at or passionate about to become ‘everything in something,' while also ‘personalizing’ their own learning with new skills, experiences, and areas of knowledge to at least know ‘something in everything’
- Don’t feel ‘directionless’ if they haven’t found their WHY (i.e. passion, purpose, true calling). It's just as important to know their HOWs. What are they good at? What makes them happy? What empowers them? Combine 2-3 HOWs that complement each other to create something unique! The more they put their HOW(s) to practice, the easier it will be to ultimately find their WHY along the way
- Find something ‘extra’ in what they do
- While it is OK to have the urge to ‘sprint,' self-discovery is a long-term and ongoing process (like training for a marathon). Keep learning, taking action, experimenting, and self-improving