I bet you didn’t know that John Cena is a boarding school alumnus…some of you might not even know who John Cena is. (I’ll let you Google him.)
I recommend John’s commencement address. Why? Because twenty years after his graduation, in a roughly ten-minute talk that’s warm, personal (and very nicely directed to the graduating class), he touches on the great, lasting lessons of boarding school.
I’ll forgive his admission, “Twenty years ago I sat where you’re at…I cannot remember a single thing that I learned here in text while I was here at Cushing Academy…not one thing.”
As one of my old teachers once told us, “During your time here, we know that you’ll [students] will learn more than you will from us [faculty] and we’re OK with that.”
Cena remembers that the greatest lessons in boarding school often occur beyond classroom confines as you live, work, share, build relationships and begin to actively navigate the world.
Cena remarked to the class of 2015:
“I’ve sat in those seats…you left behind your family, your friends and your social circles and started over again from scratch…just to take that one step…it’s truly just amazing…
…I hope they [the faculty] have a great feeling of pride and accomplishment to understand that the life lessons that I learned at Cushing Academy I carry with me every day like you carry a cell phone and I use them every single day like you use Instagram.
Integrity. Creativity. Respect. Discipline. Hell, even Logistics…
You can be accountable for your actions.”
Not every boarding school graduate will go on to become the face of the WWE, or something equally as well known. Most, though, will carry lessons similar to those about which Cena speaks and use them every day just as he does.