By Dr.Marcus Jackson, May 12, 2018

Congratulations on reaching this milestone. It’s been rough, tough, and plenty of other stuff 😊. However, this isn’t the end, it’s a new beginning. It’s time for a new journey. You are about to be introduced to someone called “Real Life” and she’s mean. It’s rumored that she eats nails for breakfast. She’s not concerned with your feelings, she’s not moved by tears, she will have high expectations of you, and if you’re not a hard worker she will quickly disown you. To my high school graduates, there are no extra assignments, if you’re tardy you may not get in the class, and your momma can’t go talk to the professor.

Everything you do from here on out will be based on the decisions you make and your will to be successful. David Ambrose remarked, “If you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success; if you don’t, you have achieved half your failure.” To this point the Class of 2018 has shown a great deal of will. You are equipped with the tools of resiliency, resolve, and intestinal fortitude to be successful in life. I know about the long nights, the sacrifice, and the many times you wanted to give up, but you didn’t. In closing I want to give you my three rules for life:

1.) Listen – God gave you two ears and one mouth so you can listen twice as much as talk. Remember the acronym W.A.I.T (Why Am I Talking) while a mentor or someone who’s lived what you’re going through and you’re tempted to say the infamous phrases ” I know or I understand” Listening is a powerful skill.

2.) Always try your best all the time. Procrastination is the assassination of success. As men we like to get serious about something when we feel like it. This won’t work in the real world.

3.) New Give up. Faith is something that you must carry in your pocket. Remember this journey that you’ve just completed. Remember the pain, hurt, and failure. Speaking of FAILURE, learn to appreciate it, learn to expect it, and learn to grow from it, because you can’t avoid it because without it there’s no growth. May God continue to guide you in all your endeavors.