Friday, June 06, 2008

Graduation Day Advice

My daughter graduated from high school today. I know she's on cloud nine, and it's deservedly so. It was an incredibly satisfying afternoon for me as well for all the reasons you can imagine, and a few others that shall remain where they belong, private and in my own heart.

But I am inspired to share for any graduate who cares to listen from the vault of "I actually know now what I didn't know then."

  • It's your life so they have to be your choices.

  • After earning a bachelor's degree, no one asks if you went all four years, and often don't even care where you went.

  • There's no shame in community college, only an easier commute and the same general electives at a tenth of the university price.

  • Work on your own timeline - 2 years, 4 years, 6 years... it's all relative to your own goals and schedule, and not that of others. I'm not recommending you burn through a 6-year bachelor's on your parents' dime, but if you need to take it slowly, especially in the beginning, the degree will still be waiting for you when you get there.

  • If you somehow have the finances to take the time to study abroad, or intern within your related field, it's a worthwhile extension of your educational schedule.

  • Eliminating career choices is just as important as choosing them.

  • There's no shame in skipping college altogether if you want to pursue a trade, an art, a vocation, a calling, a job, a family, military service, etc.

  • A college degree doesn't make anyone smarter than anyone else.

  • It's OK to be undecided.

  • It's OK to change your mind.

  • It's OK to change your mind again.

  • If you didn't graduate, there's no shame in taking the extra time to finish what you started.

  • It's never what you expect when you get there, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy the ride.

OK, enough serious talk. Here's what else you'll learn:

  • No one needs whole-life insurance.

  • It takes two to tango, three to make it interesting.

  • Learn the symmetry test now: if you have it on both sides of your body, it's supposed to be there.

  • Pyramid schemes will not bring you instant fortune - the only thing that grows exponentially are the number of victims. Remember when you repeatedly asked in algebra class, "When will I ever use this stuff in real life?" This would have been one of those times.

  • You'll be oddly willing to start paying outrageous sums for adult phys ed, also know as health clubs, gyms, spas...

  • Set up your reunion web site now so you won't have to search for everyone in ten years. I didn't say "five years" because time will begin its acceleration now and you won't feel that different after such a short span. Reunions are a lot more fun when everyone has physically aged, and you get to see first hand that Karma has taken care of all those people who were so mean to you these last four years.

I'll add more as they come to me...feel free to add yours in the comments!

No comments: