Wellesley Commencement: Be Flexible. Be Resilient. Pace Yourself.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at the 135th Wellesley College Commencement in Wellesley, Massachusetts. I encouraged the young women's college graduates to be flexible and resilient, and to pace themselves.

Valerie Jarrett at Wellesley Commencement

Valerie Jarrett speaks at the Wellesley College Commencement on May 31, 2013. (by Richard Howard/Wellesley College)

Here is an excerpt:

"For those of you who are wondering if you can have it all. The answer is yes, but there's a catch. The arc of life is long, so don't expect to have it all at the same time. Just as you must affirmatively choose to follow your passion, and develop a tough skin, you may also have to adjust your lifestyle if you decide to switch careers and begin working your way to the top again. You may decide not to have children because you love the fast pace, and travel required of your profession. You may see some of your classmates achieve success in their careers faster than you because you decided to stay home with your children for a few years. Don’t look at your decisions as sacrifices. They are choices that simply illustrate your priorities."

"And you have choices because you stand on the shoulders of others who have given you the ability to choose. It is a rare privilege. So make sure to reach back and afford others the same opportunity."

You can read my full remarks here.

Related Topics: Women, Massachusetts
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