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Revelations: Students on divine journey after graduation

By By Jennifer Preyss
May 17, 2013 at 12:17 a.m.
Updated May 18, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.


Graduation season is always a trip down memory lane for me.

For many students around the nation, spring is a time for yearbooks and commencement ceremonies, last summers before college and end-of-school parties.

If I remember correctly, it's one of the freest times in life.

For the past few days, I've been interviewing area valedictorians and salutatorians and listening to them tell me about their ambitions and dreams for the future.

It's at least the second time I've walked away from interviews and felt so encouraged by the seniors' perky, wide-eyed ideas about the next 10-20 years of their lives.

I'm charmed by their optimism, I suppose, and find myself rooting for them to accomplish what they desire.

I want it for them. I want it for all of them - from the valedictorian to the just-getting-by-to-graduate senior.

Perhaps I enjoy these interviews because they remind me of my own 18-year-old fearlessness. They help reacquaint me with my own pre-college optimism about life and adulthood and this idea I had then about limitless possibility.

I, too, was nervous to leave high school and move away from my family, but I was convinced I was ready to head out into the "real world." I'm not sure I knew what that fancy phrase meant, but I knew if everyone was telling me about it, it was probably time for me to give it a try.

Those were the days I was recklessly bold, and believed success was easy. I thought I was destined to be something greater than I was. I'm not sure I was ready to know how long and hard I would have to work to set myself up for success 10-20 years in the future.

I haven't let go of my own optimism or belief that I can do and be something greater tomorrow than I am today. I'm not so sure that's my own ambition as it is God pushing and pulling and shoving and coaxing me every day to take one more tiny step in the right direction.

But the difference is now I don't really want to serve my own dreams. I want to do great things for God and his people. I want to be the best I can be so that I can do the best I can do for God.

I wanted to tell the seniors that today, right now, is the best time of their lives. They will have dreams and passions that will come and go. They will look back on their lives 10 years from now and realize some of those ideas and passions stuck while others didn't.

But for many of them, they'll realize they're on a different kind of journey. It's not their own. It's a divine path. And if they allow God to move them and mold them into their destiny, they'll realize they're embarking on the ride of their lives.

Congratulations, seniors. Good luck to you all.

Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or jlpreyss@vicad.com or @jenniferpreyss on Twitter.

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