Edit: I edited this post from May 2018 in May 2019, with a personal graduation picture rather than a random one from my old roommates website. Congratulations to all Class of 2018 and 2019 graduates! 

I know a lot of my friends are graduating college this year. It’s a culmination of  all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. (At least we all know there was tears.) You did it! You made it through college and you’ve earned a degree. It’s worth a lot more than the loads of student debt you might never pay off. You have learned a lot and you will continue learning. I’m here today to congratulate your work, to remember the memories and the friends you’ve made, and encourage you to going on.

What I see is that, you reach a crossroads. Back at UT,  Brother Rob, the Campus Minister at University Catholic Center holds these twice monthly meetings called Crossroads. They’re mostly for those who are discerning  vocations , such as religious life, being married, or simply living life close to God.  Usually one meeting is this big meet-up with some priests and it’s all about God’s calling. The other is more intimate discussion about topics that concern us as the future of the church. The idea behind the name “Crossroads” is that when we discern the choice we made when we’re at a “Crossroads” or where we have to choose which road we will go. I learned that every decision matters. We don’t have to be discerning religious life, we trust God. God directs us where we should do.

There is a idea that we have a vocation as a student in college with our studies. Sure, that’s true, but you have to let God into them.  Otherwise, you might lose touch with your faith. Do more than just ace your tests, but have a purpose. Have a goal. Have a vision. Have a dream. You don’t have to have it all figured out, but you can make choices every day that lead you closer to God and His love. Make your career part of your service to God. I do that with Civil Engineering, as I make something to improve the society, improve civilization. Keep learning and have a purpose to it all.

Keep close those friends who have helped you along the way.  Cherish the memories you’ve made. I have made so many friends, I don’t know how I’ll get by next year without my roommate and some of my favorite people. Goodbyes suck, and I have not said all the goodbyes I should have. One regret I have is not always keeping close to my friends that I’m not around. Technology helps us stay connected. Don’t be afraid to reach out to new friends if you are going somewhere new. Be yourself as God created you. God created us for the community, to be part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Continue the connection beyond the stage.

You’ve made it this far. Whether you’re a good friend of mine or just a acquaintance, know that God loves you.  If you’re a good friend, I hope to keep you in my heart

. Congratulations! Continue the efforts you’ve made. You’re at a Crossroads and the next  path you choose will lead you to great things. Trust in God. Keep learning.

…I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

– Last stanza of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

At the Crossroads,

The Nerd of May

Photograph by Emiliano Zapata

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