I watched as my students picked up their cap and gown and carried it in their arms like a newborn baby. I smiled, said a few last words of encouragement, then asked, “You graduated… now what?”

Most talked about college. Many laughed about building a bonfire with their textbooks. Some just wanted to sleep.

What I realized is that for the first time in their lives, my students have a choice.

Instead of having to go to school, they could choose to go to school. If they want to work, they could choose to work. And if they want to dream, they could choose to pursue their dreams.

The act of choosing, however, can be overwhelming — especially since the school system design does little to build a student’s autonomy. Great teachers, principals, and parents can only do so much with an outdated school design.

So, like most teachers, I want to help my students one last time as they embark on their journey.

I interviewed successful business leaders, changemakers, and entrepreneurs and asked them to share tips to help graduating students become self-reliant and happy.

If you prefer to listen, here’s a 10-step audio podcast I put together to help guide students in building their life on purpose.

Read more for 10 Quick Tips for Graduating Students To Build a Life on Purpose