May 21, 2014 0 Share

To Graduates on the Spectrum


Illustration of books, mortarboard and key.
Thinkstock

It is graduation season, and I would like to offer you my congratulations on graduating from whatever educational institution you have been a part of. Your path to this important milestone may have been different from and possibly more difficult to navigate than others, but I am sure you are proud to have made it. Your cap and gown and the diploma you receive signify this accomplishment, and I hope you take some time to enjoy it just as I did when I graduated. 

However, I believe the learning process does not stop at graduation. It has been my own experience as a person on the spectrum that I have to work harder and for longer periods of time to accomplish my goals. Thus, I have found it to be a constant need to learn new things, even everyday tasks. Like me, you will more than likely find new roles to fill, challenges to face, boons to delight in, and missteps to correct and soothe. You may even find, as I have, that you are still very curious about the world and may wish to discover new things that add greater meaning to your everyday life.

It has been two years since my own college graduation, and even though I am a working writer, I still have the desire to learn all I can about a variety of subjects. I continue to practice and take on new daily life skills and remain active with many sports and social activities, but beyond that, I also want to pursue a variety of intellectual journeys similar to those I encountered while in college. Many of my college courses were very rewarding and held my interest in ways nothing else had ever done before.

So, in an effort to continue to satisfy this need, I have begun taking home lecture courses. They are similar to my old college courses in a few respects: They consist primarily of lectures and each comes with a guidebook filled with supplemental information on the subject matter covered. One crucial difference, though, is that these courses do not come with homework or lingering deadlines; I really enjoy learning and mental stimulation, but I can do without the pressure of ticking clocks! 

Thus far, I have worked my way through courses relating to literature, language composition, philosophical history, and astronomy. All have brought to my attention fascinating information and facts I was not aware of before or now see in a new light. In fact, the course regarding the art of constructing sentences has, I feel, helped me to become a better writer. I have implemented some of the techniques I learned from this course in my recent written works, and I believe I have been able to convey deeper and more precise reflections of my thoughts.      

I hope that as you move on to the next phases of your life, you will find rewarding opportunities, a broader understanding of your place in the world, and good friends with which to share all these new adventures. Go ahead, keep working hard, keep trying, and find out what the world has to offer you. Graduation is just the first step.