Dearest readers of the Next Step Chronicles:
I regret to inform you that this will be my final entry here at the Next Step Chronicles. Sixteen weeks somehow disappeared before my very eyes and my BrandKit journey has rapidly drawn to a close. Bittersweet, really.
Interestingly, I just happen to be in Boston for Boston University’s 2012 Commencement Ceremony. It’s crazy how exactly one year ago, I was in my own cap and gown walking across BU’s Nickerson field with the rest of the Class of 2011. I’m not sure if this is the work of fate, but I find it so amazingly appropriate that I’d be writing my last post as the Class of 2012 takes their first steps out of the classroom and into the real world.
I had the honor of listening to Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, give his commencement speech to the Class of 2012 earlier this weekend. I was completely taken by his words and for the first time in a while, I felt encouraged. He touched on topics of technology, social media and how this generation is the first real “connected” generation in history. With these words came some great lessons, lessons that I hope to remain mindful of as I enter the next phase of my life:
“To connect the world is to free the world.”
I find that we sometimes take for granted what technology and social media has allowed us to do. These “friends” on Facebook and “followers” on Twitter are things that generations before us never got to have. We are now so connected and have full access to anyone and everyone who is present within that web of connections. The relationships we make every day can lead us to countless opportunities – having the ability to connect so easily to others is a luxury that I know I forget we have and I plan to fully take advantage of it in the future.
“Learn to say ‘yes!’ to things.”
Scary, but a brilliant concept. Saying yes more often, no matter how scary it may seem, can enrich a person’s life in ways they would never expect. Whether it’s a job interview, a camping trip through the woods or even dinner with an acquaintance, saying no will only bring you back to where you started. You won’t move forward or become a more experienced individual. Learning to overcome the fear is a huge step in changing yourself as a person, a step that I’m completely ready and willing to take.
Technology is brilliant… but “learn to turn it off”.
Eric Schmidt recommends, “Turn your technology off for one hour every day.” Seems simple enough, right? But as I thought harder about it, I’ve discovered that I’m a pathological phone checker who nearly lives in the glowing screen of my Macbook Air. Sad news. Schmidt may be onto something. On a more serious note, we cannot let technology control who we are. Tell someone how you feel instead of posting it on your Twitter status. Instead of texting, have a conversation with someone face to face. Instead of “liking” something on Facebook, just turn to the person and tell them yourself. These are habits I know I’ve developed over the years and I want to be a better “people” person in the upcoming months. I don’t want to lose the ability to properly interact with another human being… that will certainly be a sad day.
With these lessons in mind, my BrandKit journey has now concluded. But with the end of this journey comes the beginning of countless new ones. I will continue to write and build on the foundation that the Next Step Chronicles has helped me craft in the last sixteen weeks. I wanted to thank all of you who have even glanced at my writing and I hope, at some point, my words have inspired you in some way.
Lastly, I want to give a sincere congratulations to the Class of 2012 – I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors, whatever they may be. Just know, you aren’t alone… I’ll be right there with you, charging the real world with all that I’ve got. Ciao!
~ Melissa Hui
Wow has time flown chick, you aren’t kidding! It’s been so long since I’ve been to NYC and I always looked forward to your posts as a way to bring me back to city life. I love how much you have grown in the last few months. You’ve learned to make time for things that are most important to you and that lady is a hard lesson to learn. You do this all while exuding a contagious spirit and yes, you are an inspiration. I wish you the best of luck and sending tons of sparkling hugs your way as you continue on your journey. I’m crossing my fingers your next step includes some form of blogging so I (as well as your fans and readers) can keep up with your awesome life.
Thank you for sharing part of your journey!