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Advice on Life After Graduation

Updated on December 23, 2015

When you graduate you will no doubt hear a starry eyed, glowing speech, saying that you can change the world, you are on a stairway to the stars, go out there and make a name for yourself.

I want to give my son some practical advice. Let him know that life will never be this simple again, that his bad days are probably still ahead of him and that success is a journey that rarely takes a straight line. I don’t want to discourage him, but to reassure him that life can be a challenge and at times, he's going to feel adrift or a little lost and that's okay.

Winston Churchill said "If you are going through hell, keep going.." That's life, a series of ups and downs, how you handle adversity will determines what kind of man you are and the kind of life you will lead.

If something ails you, or you are out of your depth, or drowning in work it does not diminish you in any way to ask for help, and if you are not getting what you need keep asking until you get it. The old Sales maxim applies - every 'no ' brings you closer to a 'yes '!

Finding Ways of Fulfillment - Life after Graduation:

Life does not always give you what you want, but if you give of your best, you may be very pleasantly surprised at what wonderful gifts it does give you.

You are an extrovert and a social animal who naturally attracts people, but this advice goes for your introverted friends as well. Foster your closest friends they take time to acquire, look after your intimate partnerships and lovingly look after the people around you.

Make sure you adopt healthy habits - this will enrich your life, keep you whole and be the best you can be. Save on future medical bills by exercising and moving your body in every way that's fun. Sleep, good nutrition and activity have long term effects on your health, improve your memory, stabilise moods, aid in decision making, reaction time and endurance.

Nurture your spiritual well-being and cultivate self-awareness and mindfulness of what is around you in nature and the universe. Live in the present and explore, if you wish, the multiple traditions and the wisdoms of life and adopt the perspective that suits you.

Buffet - How to Stay out of Debt

Life is full of change

Give yourself time to adjust to its challenge. Know that it takes around two years to settle into a new community and find your ‘kind of people’. It can take up to five years to see significant results when troubleshooting a marriage or working on self improvement. A major life change or move to another country will take at least five years for you to find your way around, learn new skills, get comfortable and stretch and grow.

Effectively manage your negative emotions - don’t allow them to overwhelm and affect your judgement.

The thoughts that go through your head are not always true. Think about alternative outcomes, different perspectives and reduce your worry, frustrations or sorrow.

Never let failure worry you, - remember you have just found a way to do it that doesn't work!

Time does heal, but maybe there will be those hurts that time can only make easier to handle. Think about all the other fish in the sea - and yes I do know you don’t want to date a fish! You have gotten over disappointments and let-downs before and you will again.

Follow substance and integrity, don't let superficiality become a part of you. Material things can be replaced - but people cannot.

Remember too, that other people’s bad behaviour toward you, is a reflection on them, not on you.


If you are planning, preparing and waiting for the right time to take action, nothing will ever happen as nothing is ever perfect. Jump in the deep end and start, make it happen and make the adjustments along the way.

Aim to be Successful.

Don’t try to be great to much of that depends on luck, so aim to be successful. Give 10% more on everything you do, that will make you different to everyone else, push yourself to work that one hour longer, or talk to that one extra person. Push your comfort zones, offer to help others, and build real relationships.

“Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking one’s potential” - Winston Churchill .

Vividly imagining an experience activates the same neuro-pathways that activate when you are physically doing it. So use your minds’ eye, to see yourself enjoying life, achieving your goals, reaching your dreams or being successful, will strengthen those connections in your brain and lead to success.

“We become what we think about all day long” - Ralph Waldon Emerson

Visualisation will also make you mindful of the opportunities that appear and how much is available to you.

Opportunity may knock and catch you sitting on the fence. Say ‘yes’, even if you are unsure, just dare to take the chance. Your world will open up in ways you did not foresee and whatever way it turns out you won’t wonder ‘what if?’ Remember if the job is below you or not right, but there is nothing else, accept that job on an island working in a small hotel - you may go on to own it!

Alexander Graham Bell said, "Ensure that when one door closes you do not look at the closed door too long and miss the other door opening for you ".

Choose your battles carefully, be sure of what you want to accomplish, know the cost in time and sacrifices to achieve your objective and then keep it simple. By this I mean, learn to say no, don’t take everything on and run yourself ragged. Sometimes you need to do less to avoid being chronically exhausted, discouraged and overwhelmed.

After graduation you go from a competitive world into one where teamwork and collaboration are prized virtues.
After graduation you go from a competitive world into one where teamwork and collaboration are prized virtues. | Source

Live your life giving credence to cooperation, practice tolerance and build alliances. Respect peoples' differences, remember it is those differences that make the world interesting. Let your relationships be the centre of your life and your days will be enriched accordingly.

Procrastination works well for any creative or problem solving commitments. Subconsciously your brain works out the problem and lets the solutions or the details fall into place. Let the half-baked ideas develop and perhaps while you are waiting, you could weed the garden or fix the sink - as procrastinating in this area usually makes it worse!

Charity begins at home. Focus on improving your own life and the road you're following. You will then naturally enable a positive behaviour, resulting in more energy, benevolence and kindness that would help more people than it would for you to sacrifice yourself piecemeal.

Stress: We live in a ‘too much’ environment. We eat too much, drink too much, worry too much over made up things like status, prestige and external accomplishment. Too much use of electronic media and not enough real social interaction. Make a conscious time to stop and smell the roses along the way, nobody ever left this world saying, " I wish I worked harder".

No one can promise you tomorrow, so ensure you spend your life in a way you would not regret and that you are proud and happy with your present life and where it is going.


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    • LouTucci profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks Shelley...It's a very scary world out there.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      Couldn't agree more, there is too much plastic around and I'm not referring to the material. Look forward to your article.

    • LouTucci profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Shelley. You are more than welcome. As a matter of fact, you have sparked in me the desire to express my opinion of how our children are being manipulated and used by society - advertising, T.V., etc. I will have this story out either tonight or tomorrow. Stay well...Lou*

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      Lou, thank you so much for the wonderful remarks, I feel quite humbled by the fact you want your children to read it.

      We all try to impart the wisdom of a lifetime to our children, hoping they avoid the pitfalls. They seem to have so much more pressure to contend with than we did at that age, and much less time to just be. All we can do is hope we've done our job well. Thank you again Lou.

    • LouTucci profile image


      6 years ago

      Shelley, you put a tear in my eye. To offer such words of caution, commitment, enthusiasm, wisdom, advice, etc. was so beautiful to read. I am forwarding this to all of my children. As you mentioned, there is too much electronic influence, these cell phones, x box, etc. I've been telling them that they need to get involved - with life! Both my girls are in High School and I keep saying get involved with clubs to expand your friendships and to keep growing - it's so important! Thanks again for this beautiful piece! Lou*


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