Things People Told Me About Life This Weekend

I graduated college from Duke University this weekend, which means I received more advice than I will probably ever really hear and absorb.

Someone else might be able to do more justice to any of these lessons, so below I’ve listed some quotes (and some misquotes) given throughout the weekend from my parents, friends, peers, various faculty speakers, President Brodhead, and “America’s Best Coach” Mike Krzyzewski.


“You’ll find your California troubles sort of melt away when you come to the south — mostly because it’s so humid, but also because you enter a new reality.”

“We spend a lot of our lives counting stuff: our GPAs, our salaries, our friends’ salaries, the days ’til we all leave this place, the days ’til that next milestone. Stop counting things; start making things count. More importantly, lift others when they are down for the count.”

“If I could sum up my advice to you, it would be: find your heart, find good people, and find good teams. You don’t own your knowledge or achievements until you find your heart. Even then, you won’t fully own them yourself: good people in your life will make you a better person. Good teams will make a better life.”

“Finding your heart is an ongoing journey, marked by life’s destinations and literal places, like this one. That statement applies everywhere.”

“As great as you all are, your graduation is as much about the people who are here with you and who could not be here with you as it is about you. This will be a recurring theme in your life by no coincidence. A life worth celebrating is a team sport, so be a team player.”

“All our lives are spent moving from team to team. Your university has been one of many great teams you’re destined for; let its comparison and juxtaposition lead you to your next.”

“I always find it ironic that the highest achievers are often most afraid of ‘ending up’ failures. How could failure be a destination if you expect great things?”

“Fear will always have a casket waiting for you. Kick fear into it.”

“It’s called commencement, so, go begin.”

“Wear sunscreen.”


In the spirit of those quotes, thank you to the amazing teams that got me here; I look forward to the next teams and destinations to come.

Anything else I should know as I wade off into the world?

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