Dr. Jen Ashton tells 2021 grads saying you’re not OK is not a weakness

In a virtual commencement, ABC’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton advises 2021 graduates to avoid rushing life and to have more fun.
5:01 | 05/14/21

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Transcript for Dr. Jen Ashton tells 2021 grads saying you’re not OK is not a weakness
To the graduates at twenty to when he won. Welcome to your new normal. First I want to congratulate everyone who's graduating in 20/20 one or really. In the last two graduation cycles you are graduating. In the setting of an unprecedented. And historic. Global pandemic and with that has definitely brought its ups and downs a lot of your typical senior year. Pre graduation. And post graduation activities. Hopes and dreams. Have in. Curtailed but one thing is for sure you have not. Let this pandemic. Stop you're progress so when people say. You know when can we go back to normal I always cringe a little bit because we can't live our life. Going backwards we have to be in the present and we have to look forward your future. Is right in front of you. And this pandemic while certainly it's brought a lot of unexpected bumps in the road a lot of unexpected challenges. I feel. Absolutely certain. That it is setting you up. For not only the ability to survive these pandemic times but as the saying goes. To thrive in these pandemic times this pandemic seems to have come out of nowhere but the reality is. Emerging infectious disease specialist epidemiologist had been warning of a pandemic of this nature. For decades. And no one listened were we prepared. Absolutely not. Will we be better prepared next time because there is likely to be a next time. I believe we will be and I know that you will be. If big part of that because your memory of what you went through what your family went through in your friends went through. In the setting of this pandemic. Is occurring TU at a time where you are he most. Open to that kind of in the hood and knowledge and information. And I know that like anything else that happens during college years he will take that information. And process it and integrated and incorporated. And use it. To be better prepared in the future how can you develop resilience. Two of the concepts that really stuck with me. Are the ability to be flexible and adaptable. We don't know what's gonna come at us updated date basis we don't know that in life we don't know that in our society and we definitely don't know that in medicine. But what do we now we know that I preparation. And being flexible and adaptable weak and respond to anything we should be taking steps. To bolster. Our mental health and wellness. Even when we feel fine we should check in with ourselves check in with a mental health professional. Check in with each other and say how are you doing my feeling. And if you're not feeling OK it's not. A weakness. To admit that there is no shame in game if anything it is a sign of courage and stream. We can't be helped the from the neck down we're not healthy from and it was only when my son said to me. This is not where I'm supposed to be right now I'm supposed to be with my friends that I realized. One of any time this that he was right. And so I think it's really important effort the grownups in your life the adults in your world not to project our feelings on to you. And to ask. How you are doing our use seeing as how are you living through this what kind of thoughts or fears or concerns. Or observations are you having if I could go back to my 822 year old self. I would say don't be an as much of Iraq. There's no rush to get that first job there's no rush to go to graduate school there's no rush to solidify a romantic relationship it will happen. When you want it to happen it'll happen when. It's meant app and take advantage of the time you have right now to just focus on you Blake gets very serious. Really quickly. And a lot of you have thirty lived through some of those experiences yourselves actively. Look. For opportunities. To have a good time have fun. Life is short the clock is taking and as the saying goes no one gets the the end of their life at any age and says. Boy I wish I worked more and never loses. That child light drive. For fun and laughter because that's. The secret.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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