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2017 Graduates - Take All the Advice You Are Getting

Updated on August 23, 2017
Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran is a writer & former newspaper reporter/editor who traveled the world as a soldier's better half. Her works are on Amazon.


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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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 18 months ago

      Yes, when I was going into the military I had a couple of uncles who gave me advice from their time about 18 years earlier. The information was dated.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 18 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      You might be right. Not sure I have advice that is applicable to this century!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 18 months ago

      Could it be the advice often falls into 2 categories: (1) I've heard this at least 100 times before so telling me again on graduation serves no useful purpose. (2) Do you have some advice applicable to this century?

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Wonderful words of wisdom.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      RTalloni: Thanks for the read! I've been through this process with 3 kids and a daughter in law plus 18 cousins!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Neat post. :) A thoughtful and thought provoking greeting to grads everywhere!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks glassvisage! Hope to read some of your hubs too!

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

      Such a great Hub! I agree completely. Sometimes the advice just doesn't even make sense since I've never had a chance to understand the context yet, and it just floats right over me :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Nice hub, Kathleen, and so timely for me as we just attended college graduations for two of our grandchildren. We just can't help giving advice to the new grads, but we all know that they'll still have to figure out their own lives and make their own mistakes.