Here is 10 pieces of advice to those of you graduating...
- Don’t be afraid of yourself - Your 20’s will be all about growth. Let it happen. Be open to who you evolve to become.
- Don’t be afraid of others - You’ll meet new people in your life and new friends will come in while others fall away. Some of those new people are very different from who you've ever known before. That's okay! You’ll figure out what you love and those people within that subculture will grow into your new world.
- Be open to new knowledge - There is a big, beautiful world of knowledge out there. Let it change you. Let it shape you. For far too long we've given platforms to some awful role models. Let intelligence be a celebrated thing, again. Encourage a renaissance in your life by allowing knowledge and skills to enter into it and be celebrated. Celebrate that in others, too.
- Don’t be afraid to say NO - Don’t let peer pressure, a needy friend / relationship or yourself to sabotage your future. If you have to work - work. If you have to study - study. True friends / persons in your life will understand.
- Save money - As much as possible. The Kardashians and any of those other instagram / social-media-lebrities are NOT real life. Your value isn’t determined by having the newest phone or expensive makeup. If you have a hard time with this, see the point #4 again. |
Subpoint - being pretty is not the rent you have to pay to exist. "Pretty" is a subjective word that is different for everyone. You do you and realize you’re more than foundation and contour.
- Be good to your credit - There will be a lot of credit card companies hovering around your college campus just waiting for the opportunity to sign you up so you can pay over 20% more than what retail prices are. It seems like a good idea at the time. You will regret this later. I promise. See Points 4 & 5 to reinforce this.
- Be active in your political process - my generation’s years of apathy have contributed to quite a mess but there is change happening and it’s possible thanks to people in your age group. Get registered to vote. Get educated on the system. Be active and fight hard for your future because - honestly - I’m going to die way before you so you need to be a part of what kind of world it will be for you and your future children. Vote in every election from president to your local city council. These are the people that you have to empower or remove from power in order to make your desires known. Know the process and participate in it.
- Not every day is perfection - Hey, this is life. It sometimes sucks and it is not always easy. You’re going to have to say NO to people or things. You’re going to get your heart broken. You’re going to be disappointed. Be sure to have healthy coping skills to deal with whatever stress or despair life will come with. Don’t get sucked into the mentality that you’re going to drink or drug your problems away. If you don’t know what a healthy coping skill is or how to go about such things, see a licensed therapist / counselor and they can help you understand these concepts. There’s also a lot of books on boundaries and coping skills. You’ll need healthy ways to balance the rough parts of life to get through it safely.
- Be good to your body - This goes with the previous point, too. You only have one body, guys. It’s NOT immortal. You will damage it through diet, drugs, drink or more. Be smart with it. Be safe with it. Use it but don’t abuse it. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Move it around a lot. While you are young and you feel awesome, now, I promise you that it won’t always be that way and what you do now does affect what you can do with it later. Love it.
- The time will pass - If you want to go to college. GO. If you want to go to Europe. GO. If you want to see the Grand Canyon - Go see it. If you want to work and save for a vintage car to restore - hunker down and go for it. Why? Because, whether or not you do something with your time, it will pass without your consent.
Hear me: Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Everyone. Mark Cuban’s 24 hours are the same as yours, he just uses his differently.
If you sit on the couch and just dream, that 24 hours will tick away while you do so.
Trust me on this because I’ve wasted many days in despair, dreams, fear and illness. Now I’m making up for a lot of lost and wasted time and my sense of urgency is fueling a frenzy to feel the things I wished for over so many years. Don’t just wish for what you want - work for what you want. Make your life. Enjoy it. Push for it. Fight for yourself. Use your 24. If you’re having a hard time doing that, go back through the list above.
So - get out there and make this life of yours a good one!