I have always been fascinated by bridges. The design, discovery and the fact that bridges can lead to new and interesting destinations has intrigued me for as long as I can remember.
A bridge can be a structure, like the bridges that connect our mainland and island communities, but a bridge can also be described as a connecting route or phase between two adjacent elements, conditions or activities. Perhaps it can be a conversation between two people that forms a quality connection.
This could potentially be describing any number of activities, but this time of year I think it can apply to the thousands of young people in our community who are moving up and graduating to new schools or into the workforce fresh out of college.
The lessons we can learn from bridges when bridging the gap from where you are today to where you are going are numerous. Below are a few more thoughts that may help create a clear path as you connect with what is next for you as you move up, move ahead and move forward.
• Plan to build something special: A bridge is an amazing accomplishment of design and engineering. The next phase of your educational or work experience should be special as well. Design it with quality and strength, built to stand the test of time.
• Get the right people involved: If you have good, caring people around you, such as friends, parents and teachers, get them involved in building your “bridge” to your next school or experience. If you do not have the right mix of people, you may have to look outside of your normal group and enlist the help of others you can trust.
• Do not hesitate to make changes: The early designs of bridges are not always the design that is eventually built. Do not be afraid to adjust your plans and even people when it comes to your new school or work experience.
• Strength is in design and connections: Steel, concrete, twisted cables and strong foundational support help to give bridges strength. Like a bridge, make sure your strengths are interwoven throughout all aspects of your actions and those connections you are making are strong.
• Go the distance: Bridges vary in size, shape, height, length and width. Always consider how far you need to go to meet your goals or get to where you need to be. Plan to go the distance and do what it takes to get there.
Congratulations to all of the students who are moving up to new schools and experiences. I hope these bridge-inspired thoughts are something you will consider as you are bridging the graduation gap.