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More advice for the Class of 2022: ‘Don’t wait for happiness; build it yourself.’ (w/ video)

More than 2,700 students took part in commencement ceremonies over the weekend at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Peter Hans, the President of the University of North Carolina System, delivered this year’s commencement address.

Hans told the Class of 2022 there is a “national happiness deficit.”

In a world filled with genuine problems, he urged graduates to limit their screen time, avoid chasing material possessions, spend more time outdoors and in conversation with friends.

Here’s an excerpt of President Hans’ speech.

‘So don’t let anyone tell you that this era is uniquely unsettled, that our challenges are truly unprecedented. Yes, there’s a war in Ukraine, inflation in our economy, climate change, a racial reckoning, and another worldwide pandemic that upended lives and caused profound grief for so many. These are real problems to be tackled and real losses to be remembered.

But keep a sense of scale. As President Barack Obama wisely counseled a few years ago, “the next time you’re bombarded with over-the-top claims about how our country is doomed or the world is coming apart at the seams, brush off the cynics and fearmongers. Because the truth is, if you had to choose any time in the course of human history to be alive, you’d choose this one. Right here in America, right now.”

You’ll be a far better advocate, citizen, and friend — far more able to fight for the things that matter to you — if you can hold onto that gratitude, maintain perspective, and find contentment in your own life. Be a happy warrior. It will ripple forth to many others.’

Click below to watch more from Peter Hans. You can watch the full rebroadcast of the May 14th ceremony  for UNC-W’s Ceremony College of Health and Human Services online here.

Enjoy more of this year’s commencement celebrations here.

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