I hardly consider myself to be a great mind, nor do I believe that I am endowed with tremendous wisdom. But I do feel that in my half a century on this earth, I have learned a thing or two about life. And so, to any and all young folks out there who are about to embark on their lives, I have the following words of advice...
- Go ahead, follow your bliss. But make sure you have a degree and a backup plan. Because bliss almost never pays the mortgage.
- Whatever you presently expect your life to be, it won't be that. Life will deal you cards that you never expected, and you will have to play the hand that you are dealt. If you're lucky, you'll get a full house, but you may also draw a pair deuces, and have to learn to play the hand you get. The good news is that you'll also probably draw a Joker or two, and they can be kind of fun, and if you're clever enough, you can bluff your way through quite a bit. I have hereby carried this silly analogy as far as I can.
- Have fun. It's okay to do a few stupid things. Be a little reckless while you are young. Because if you don't, you'll live your later years filled with questioning and regrets. But be careful while you're doing stupid things to always maintain your integrity, and don't do anything that hurts someone else.
- Avoid all mistakes/decisions which will stay with you for the rest of your life - tattoos, peculiar piercings, venereal diseases, unwanted pregnancies. But if you do make any poor choices, and who doesn't, accept responsibility with as much grace as you can muster.
- Often, young people give up their sense of self in an attempt to please parents and friends. Then, later in life, they go too far the other way, trying to regain their power, and end up becoming self-righteous and selfish. Work to find this balance, and try to focus on the greater good. Remember that doing something for the greater good doesn't make you weak. I think it can actually be the stronger path.
- When choosing a profession in which to enter, look up one of those earnings scales for the profession where they list expected earnings by profession by state. But don't look at the top salaries. It's unlikely that you'll achieve that for a very long time, if ever. Look at the base salary and the median salary. If you think you can live comfortably on that, go for it. Otherwise, formulate another plan.
- At this point in your life, you may want to be the cool one and the sexy one and the popular one, but ultimately, being the kind one will serve you best.
- You must treat love as an action verb. It's not something into which you fall. Because if you've simply fallen into something, you can climb out of it. In order for any loving relationship to stand the test of time, you must choose to love, and actively work at it.
So there you have it, the wealth of my experience. I wish someone had said some of these things to me when I was heading out into the world. Or maybe...they did. Because I don't remember one word of my Commencement Speech.
And to be completely truthful, I probably would have ignored the advice anyway. I guess all young people have to make their own mistakes before they start to know a few things.
What advice do you have for graduates?
More amazing words of wisdom...
Janice at I Got Nothing - a last minute Best/Worst post from last week!
Next week on The Spin Cycle...
Aaaaaaaaaah! Summer is finally here! Time to relax, kick-back, take a load off. I'm planning on sleeping in every morning for at least a week.
What do you do to relax? Are you a hot tub/candles/wine kind of person? Or do you relax by exercising? Do you like to leave town? Spa it? Or maybe just curl up in bed with a good book and ignore the children.
Write your spin on "Relax". Post it. Let me know. I'll link it.
Come back next week for my spin on Relax, and to find out next week's Spin topic!
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