Special Occasion Speech: to Graduates in 2020

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It’s the worst times, it’s the best times. Pandemic and recession at the same time. For me the best part is spending some quality time with my wife and kids, the worst part is I have not got a haircut for over 3 months.

All these will pass. For college graduates or post college graduates, find something meaningful while living in your parents house, or basement. If Uber retracted the offer for your software engineer job, you may want to find something in the local schnucks or instacart, while continuing to pursue your dream in software development, be a mentor in launch code, apply to jobs at the fields that are still hiring: from Amazon to Walmart…

For high school graduates: your senior year or graduation is really unique, isn’t it? No proms or graduation like in the past: a lot of car parades or yard signs. My 4th grader daughter is graduating from her elementary school this year and I got a flavor of it. I have been in a similar boat in my life regarding college too: I was not accepted to a college of my first choice. I do believe most of you have received admission to colleges or know where you will go next. You may or may not know the status of “will college open or not”? Is it going to be online plus some in person class, or everything online like Cal State? We don’t know. We will find out as time goes. Hope the colleges make the right decisions in the circumstances.

In summary, I want to say don’t be afraid of the unknown or setbacks. Or even small failures. I still remember the night before I boarded the flight to the US for graduate school in 1997. I went to bed after packing all the stuff (managed to close the luggage box), then I could not fall asleep due to all this uncertainty. Step out of our comfort zone, what does not kill us will only make us stronger.

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