There’s never any rest for the weary and the last week of classes certainly doesn’t deviate from that. Though it’s been a rather boring and no-energy kind of semester so far, these last two weeks have done nothing but rain gobs of work, projects, studying, exams, homework, moving, travel issues, etc. into a very small period of time. Unfortunately, few of these things could have been taken care of earlier, as they’re pertinent to these last few weeks of school, such being Color Parade, finals, end of year evals and other paperwork that cannot be done until things are near completion.
End-of-year stressors aside, it’s been an interesting and fruitful year. Though it didn’t end as strong as I’d expected it to, there was a tremendous amount of learning and growth throughout. For those looking to learn in a brief moment the lessons I learned in a year, I would suggest the following:
- Be aware of your options. Constantly ask yourself, “What are my possibilities for action at this moment?” Had I done so two years ago, I probably would have worked and established myself in Daytona rather than Orlando since I knew I was going to ERAU, but was still acting on what were then empty, preconceived plans of action.
- Know what you’re getting into. A lot of people don’t like where they end up in university, occupation, etc. simply because they didn’t find out what the place they were going to actually offered. Where college is concerned, be sure you ask questions about lifestyle, academic breadth, as well as get a sense of the overall cultural climate of the area. These things are best done by spending some time at the universities you are interested in. Be sure to do so on several ‘normal days’ and not just an orientation or open house day when everything is geared for selling the school and not showing what it’s really about.
- Never quit. This speaks for itself. No body will believe you’re truly interested in something, not even yourself, if you give up without fighting with all you’ve got.
- Be professional in everything you do. Don’t read this as to say you can’t have fun, but when our country is rolling towards highly educated and capable individuals and, more importantly, is cracking down on those who refuse to do a job properly, you cannot afford to behave like a high school freshman anymore. Aviation’s not for everyone. We do need someone to flip our burgers.
- Above all things, remember where you’re from. Though you may go on to do great things, make a name for yourself, and travel far from your home both physically and mentally, your heritage is what got you where you are. If you do not embrace and respect that heritage with personal humility and do not pass along those values to the next generation, then expect your glory to fade faster than it came to be.
On the verge of another major turning point in life, I wish all of you the absolute best that life has to offer. Life is nothing more than a fantastic adventure. So long as you control it and not let it control you, expect the most from this journey.
To my friends and colleagues, I send my deepest appreciation for your support and humor.
Namaste, and Onward + Upward,