9 Tough Questions for 2011 Grads (plus one more)

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Many of my current and former high school students are graduating this month or next and while I am proud of their accomplishments and eager to learn of their future plans, I can’t help wonder what path many of them will take  once the novelty of graduation has worn off and there’s no one to be accountable to but themselves.

I wonder what will determine their decision-making and if we, educators, have prepared them well for the real research, projects and assignments they will be called upon to complete. I wonder if they will be able to answer the hard questions that life will ask of them.

Jeff Bezos, of Amazon.com, recently spoke to the graduating class of Princeton. He invited the graduates to consider a few of those critical life questions. He asked:

1) Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?

2) Will you follow dogma or will you be original?

3) Will you bluff it out when you are wrong or will you apologize?

4) Will you choose a life of ease , or a life of service and adventure?

5) Will you guard your heart against rejection or will you act when you fall in love?

6) Will you play it safe, or will you take risks?

7) When it’s tough, will you give up or will you be relentless?

8) Will you be a cynic or will you be a builder?

9) Will you be clever at the expense of others or will you be kind?

I believe these are excellent points for us all, as students of life,  to consider and I would add my own question to this list:

~Will you choose to be regular or will you choose to be remarkable?

Are the recent grads you know prepared  to live their “answers” to these questions? Are you? In what ways has your education or life experience enabled or incapacitated you? In what areas would you like “further instruction” or “extra help”? Share your responses below.

Pls share this with any recent (or not so recent) grads you know.


2 Responses to “9 Tough Questions for 2011 Grads (plus one more)”
  1. Huldah says:

    Today’s job market introduces new challenges bringing forth more questions of self reflection for new college graduates. I believe that many of these questions could be essentially answered once one is placed and stable into their careers. The concept of graduation is scary because now we are thrown into a world where we are to apply everything that we have learned in school. Are we prepared?

    • Nicolette James says:

      Thanks for responding Huldah. Do you think that the answers to the questions are dependent on the career you choose to pursue? I’d also love to know if you think that you have been adequately prepared for life?