It's graduation season, and time for speeches. I'll leave it to actual accomplished people to say something inspirational and lofty. High school grads, I'm here to keep it real and give you more pragmatic advice. Here are the ten things I wish I'd known when I was heading off to college.
On May 27, 2015 I should have graduated from high school, but I did not. I am a dropout. Many would be disheartened to learn I was unable to accomplish something so simple, so necessary. But actually, I am fine.
Allowing teens to grow and feel uncomfortable is vital to their emotional development and is just as important as all that nurturing we provided. As our teenagers graduate, our goals for them should graduate as well.
I just recently finished my first year at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. While I hate using cliché metaphors, I would be neglecting their typical accuracy by not comparing my first year of college to that of a roller coaster ride. There were many ups and downs, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed my first year of school.
"President and CEO of Technological Connection Assistance Company" = I helped my grandparents make Facebook accounts so they would stop asking me if I was in a relationship.
While on the surface our mental health awareness work in Lebanon looks like an innovation, it's more like a reclamation -- since the first mental hospitals in the world appeared in the Middle East.
When you see students walk the stage at graduation this year, know that behind them is an invisible line of men and women who helped each one to buy hope for themselves and to bet on a future that needs their talent.
As a father of three former teenagers, I know that high school students probably don't seem like the best people to ask for ways to save the planet. They are sarcastic, hormonal, and iPhone-obsessed.
By the time I turned thirteen, I had attended five schools, in four cities, on three continents. My parents were professors who had me late in life and, perhaps because of this, I am an only child.
My dad says going to college taught him to say, "That's incredible!" instead of "No sh*t!" By the time you read this story, I wouldn't blame you for saying either one. May it inspire you to believe in minor miracles and go after them with all your heart.
The truth is, you can take steps to start loving yourself more right now, and they don't involve stressing about whether you do or don't measure up to a set of (often unrealistic) cultural standards.
San Diego's Crawford High school where I graduated in 1977 was once determined by the California Department of Education to be the most diverse high school in the state. Since California is the most diverse state, I will stretch things a bit to say I went to the most diverse high school in the nation.
Coding is, indeed, everywhere today. And while not all of our students will be coders or engineers, they all need to acquire a level of coding literacy that will enable them to understand the power of coding in any career direction they choose.
I have so many things I still need to teach you about how to be the amazing person I know you can be. You're already becoming her, and watching you turn into that woman you'll soon be each and every day has been the highlight of my life for the last 18 years.
It's really amazing to see how transformative entrepreneurship can be and the lessons one can learn from starting a business. This was the case for high school student entrepreneur Yasmeen Haider, the founder of Cake Pop Place.
Reading Shakespeare, the Greeks, and the classics; reading for life-wisdom, nourishment, guidance and growth; reading to save one's soul and to make sense of oneself and the enigma of life -- this kind of reading rarely exists anymore.