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Dr. Jessica Johnson: Advice on leaving Kansas

The start season is approaching as college graduates prepare to enter the “world of grown-ups” full-time. Some have already become “adults” by graduating from school and paying their own tuition.

I was thinking of graduating from college last Sunday because the opening ceremony is often held on “Lord’s Day” at historical black colleges. HBCU rituals are similar to church service. The school’s gospel choir sings praise songs to celebrate those who have reached this important life milestone.

A long-standing humorous statement among HBCU graduates is that the graduates’ Latin Honors, Latin Honors, Latin Honors, and everyone else are “Thank you, Lord.” This is one of the opening lines I remember from a college graduation speech by Dr. Helen G. Edmonds when I graduated from North Carolina Central University in 1991. Dr. Edmonds was the first African-American woman to receive her PhD. .. In a speech at Ohio State University, she uses The Wizard of Oz as a parable to tell me and my NCCU classmates that we are heading into a world full of great potential and difficult obstacles. I did. We were about to leave Kansas, which Dr. Edmonds used to symbolize the safe and nurtured space of our beloved Durham campus.

Looking back at Dr. Edmonds’ speech today, it’s clear that we are at a very different time than in the early 90’s. Of course, the most obvious difference is technology. College classmates and I had considerable computer literacy to enter assignments at school using a word processor program, but it’s still a few years to send emails and search the internet on a daily basis. It took. Since I didn’t have a smartphone, I had to pay attention to Dr. Edmonds’ remarks at the graduation ceremony because there was nothing to distract other than the cheers and prints from his relatives. A program that conveys our name and achievements.

I’ve been away from NCCU’s “Kansas” for many years, so for 2022 college graduates reading this column, two simple tips are to keep you afraid while chasing your dreams. Don’t be fooled by your pride. I’m sure many of you have heard these words of wisdom before, but I think it’s important to repeat them because of the unique challenges your generation faces.

You are stepping into young adulthood at a much more stressful time compared to older generations like me. There is a lot of pressure to succeed early in this social media era, and fear and anger can easily subside with the first experience of hearing “no”.

Don’t rush to be offended for refusal, but let patience teach you a great understanding, as Proverbs 14:19 directs. Wait patiently to know that rejecting a suggestion or project does not mean that you do not have a great idea. You may need to make a few edits or tweaks. Otherwise, you will have to start over. But rest assured that when one door closes, God has a unique way to open another.

As you begin to work towards your career and entrepreneurial goals, always remember who is helping you in the process. You will never be in a state where you cannot get advice from others when you have a good reason. Two additional sections come to mind here from the proverb about pride. Proverbs 11: 2 states that shame follows pride, but that a humble person gains wisdom. Be wise in your pursuit and strive to be a careful listener of the people you work with. Being unpretentious reveals new things to learn every day.

Finally, when you leave the “Kansas” campus, take the opportunity to rejoice before using your divinely-given talents to make the world a better place. You are endowed with your abilities for special purposes. Never let your dreams die when you start this exciting new chapter in your life!

Dr. Jessica A. Johnson is an English teacher at The Ohio State University, Lima.Email her [email protected] @JjSmojc. Her column does not necessarily reflect the views of the Lima News Editorial Board or AIM Media, the owner of Lima News.



Dr. Jessica Johnson: Advice on leaving Kansas

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