To the Class of 2016

By: Dr. Michael A. Sulzinski

university of scranton

Dear Graduating Senior,

It’s an honor for me to share a few thoughts as you wind down your final days with us. There are deep emotions swirling through your mind, preparing to embark on your next venture.

I always get the sense from my seniors that the excitement brings with it a troublesome question, hidden so deep inside, and never dared to be spoken out loud. ”Will everything be all right?”

You are ready. I know you are ready because I have seen you grow, mature, and transform into a young professional. As a graduate of a Jesuit institution, you no doubt have been exposed to the concept of your vocation, your ‘calling’ in life…. the person that you were meant to be.

You have a plan, and you are poised to carry it out. Be open to adjustments and changes in your plan, and be open to redefining that “vocation” over the coming years. Life may take you in a completely different, unplanned direction. Don’t be afraid to go for it. Listen carefully for that calling, that opportunity that will give you joy and personal and professional satisfaction. You may have already defined it for yourself. Maybe you are still struggling to work it out. But you will.

Give it time. I know. After all, I discovered my vocation a full ten years after my own college graduation. I found myself in a life circumstance that I never expected. Looking back, I could not imagine doing anything else. So, please… don’t ever be afraid to redefine yourself or to refocus your goals.

Please know always that your faculty cares about you, each and every one of you. We wait with great anticipation to see how your professional and personal life will unfold. We will miss you, and your moving on from us is bitter-sweet.

And while you may have those deep unspoken tinges of doubt, we have full confidence in you. When we hear word of your great success, in life and love, we are so very proud of you, and we join in your joy. You are, after all, Sons and Daughters of the University of Scranton, and we will always care for you as such.

You don’t need to ever ask me the question out loud. Just allow me to give you the answer that is so important for you to hear.

Yes…Everything will be all right.

Photo credit: Instagram user @ashxmars


sulzinskiDr. Michael A. Sulzinski is a professor in The University of Scranton’s biology department. 

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