The Way Will Open

This morning I had the pleasure of attending our graduation ceremonies, and hearing John Legend’s inspiring commencement address. That followed a weekend at my son’s college graduation at another university, where it was a pleasure to hear from additional commencement speakers, student speakers, deans and dignitaries. I have heard so much wonderful advice, heartfelt stories, lessons learned. And now I have to write a blog post for graduation day.

What is left to say? Only that all of us at Penn are so proud of you, our graduates, so lucky to have had the chance to work with you over these past years. We are confident you will do well, wherever life and your education take you. I hope we in Career Services and others here at Penn have helped you take this first post-Penn step. If you are still looking for or deciding on that first opportunity, let us know. We are here to assist, and our office remains open in the summer.

What if you are unsure if you have made a good choice in a first job, or a graduate program? Please know that there is not just one “right” choice. Move ahead and, to quote a Quaker saying, “proceed as the way opens.” What this means is “to undertake an action without prior clarity about all the details, and with a respect for the ambiguity of the process. There are things we don’t know, and can’t know. There are many paths. If you are not immediately on the right one, take a different one. As you go, you will gain the clarity that will inform your next choice, and the one after that. As one of the commencement speakers said, you can’t connect the dots of your life looking forward, only in looking back. So good luck. Do well (and do good). Trust that the way will open for you, as it has for so many other Penn graduates over the years. Congratulations.

Author: Patricia Rose

Patricia Rose is the Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania.