Dear Class of 2014
In just a few short weeks, your time at school will be over. And that time is going to fly. In many ways, though, the rapid passing of the final part of your schooling sets a bad precedent for the rest of your life. You'll leave school thinking all time passes as quickly as these last few weeks will. But it doesn't. Life is incredibly long, and there will be ample time for you to do great things.
The thing with great things is that they take time. Television shows will try to convince you that 'talent' just needs to be discovered and you just need a bit of luck to be an overnight success. But this is not true. All talented people spend a lot of time doing what they do before they become masters at it. And what's important to realize is that we all have the time to hone our skills and become better at whatever it is we choose to do. What's important is not the time – you will have plenty of it, I promise – no, what's important is what you choose to spend your time on.
Some of your friends might say things like “YOLO! Life is for the young”. In a strange way, they are right. Except 'YOLO' doesn't mean what they think it means. You only live once: make it count. (And by the way, you will be 'old' far longer than you will be young – at least by your definition, which is anywhere over the age of 30. But you can stay young if you dedicate yourself to something you love doing.)
Be very careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that who you are now will be the person you will be for the rest of your life. There is enough time to change almost anything about yourself that you want to change. You can become a better person if you just give it enough time. Your friends will tell you not to change. I say how boring it must be to be the same for the rest of your life. And I know you secretly agree; there are parts of yourself you want to improve, there are things you want to do with your life. You can do them all and you can change anything you want to.
You can do big things.
You have the time.
Make it count.