Warning - Warning 2016 Graduates
Beware unsolicited advice
In the coming weeks many college and high school students with go through the unique experience of graduation. Along with the caps and gowns, "Pomp and Circumstance" and promises between friends to keep in touch, graduates will inevitably be inundated with unsolicited words of wisdom and well-meaning advice. These often start with phrases such as, "If I'd only known at your age what I know now," or "You know, youth is really wasted on the young".
We older folks just can't resist trying to give youngsters the benefit of our experience, especially on momentous occasions in their lives. The immediate response from the young people on the receiving end is usually to be driven up the nearest wall. But how many of us, whose own graduations are several years past, wish we had taken to heart more of that sort of advice when it was offered to us?
Get to work 15 minutes early and stay 15 minutes late and you'll be the one the boss promotes.
Pay yourself first - save something from every paycheck.
Don't be afraid to relocate for a job.
Spend no more than 25% of your income on housing.
Stay out of debt.
Give something back - volunteer somewhere.
"If only someone had told me . . ." is a refrain I've heard more than once from someone my own age in reference to choices they made in their youth. I have even heard myself saying, "I wonder why no one ever bothered to tell me this years ago." The truth is, someone probably tried.
Graduation is a threshold we pass through on the way to maturity, which is an undefined point out there somewhere in our futures. It is a point some of us never reach. A mark of being well on your way toward it is a willingness to learn from other people's experiences and not insisting on making all the same mistakes on your own.
Don't worry graduates. Even if you learn from all the accumulated experience of everyone who offers you advice in the coming days, and you don't make any of the mistakes all the previous generations have made, there will be more than enough opportunities to make up brand new mistakes of your very own. The possibilities are endless. It's called Life. Making mistakes is built right in. And just think of all the advice you'll have ready to heap on your kids. Congratulations!
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