I fear writing anything that resembles advice. The thought of providing advice brings to mind my high school American History teacher, John Braucher. He said there were three things wrong with advice: too easily given, rarely taken, and usually bad. He may have been quoting someone else. Five minutes worth of a Google search failed to bring up the quote, so I am giving Mr. Braucher the credit. Mr. Braucher was also a John Carroll graduate, a contemporary of Don Shula if I remember correctly.
To heed Mr. Braucher’s direction, I would like to write about expectations. The world expects much of John Carroll graduates. Carroll packs more than knowledge into your heads. You are the products of a Jesuit educational tradition that’s based on Christian values. The world will expect you not just know things, but to do things for the greater glory of God–AMDG.
Expect the relationships you form at Carroll to last a lifetime. John Carroll graduates are good friends and colleagues. You will be able to count on those friends to help you through those inevitable rough patches just as others will be able to count on you. Even though you may go your separate ways upon graduation, every time you come together, it will feel like coming home.
Your course of study requires hard work. Expect that to continue. Hard work and persistence is perhaps the world’s greatest problem solving tool. Those two qualities never guarantee success, but without them success will never be within reach.
I expect that you will be good parents, should you choose that role. While not a parent, I am impressed by my classmates who are. They have done an amazing job. They are loving and nurturing. They impart upon their children the values inherent in a Jesuit education they themselves exhibit.
Expect to keep learning even after your formal education concludes. I have some bad news; much of the knowledge you acquire at Carroll has a shelf life. Given the pace of change and advancements in knowledge, you will need to continue to keep up with latest developments in your field of endeavor.
The integrity that you will acquire at Carroll will expect that you will do the right thing even when it is inconvenient. Your education extends beyond skills and knowledge. Your education is deeply rooted in Christian values. Those values include a commitment to the truth and a concern for others.
Finally, you will expect a lot from yourself. Odds are you will meet those expectations. What you learn at John Carroll will provide you the foundation to meet and overcome the challenges you face. You should have the confidence to make your own way in the world and to do so with grace and competence. At times, it may not feel that way. Have faith that you are following in the footsteps of thousands of Carroll graduates. The Carroll experience worked for them, and it will work for you too.