Tuesday, June 17, 2014

An Open Letter to the High School Graduate

It's been two years now since I've graduated college and I've found myself reflecting for a few days now both on how great my college experience was, and as well as things I wish I knew before starting college. Naturally that reminded me it's not just the 21/22 year-olds graduating right now but those 17/18 year-olds are taking the steps out of their comfortable hometowns to who knows where around the country. So here it is, my open letter to the high school graduate.

Dear Graduate, 

In the wise words of Dr. Seuss: "Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go." Cliches aside, I must heartily congratulate you on accomplishing no small feat. Up until now education is mandatory and therefore not something that would incite passion or excitement to complete. From here on out, the choices you make are truly your own and I hope you can take my advice to heart.

1. Make mistakes, and make lots of them. There is no better time than now to really learn those hard lessons. As much as you hear people say to learn from their mistakes, sometimes you just need to make them yourself to really appreciate the lesson that follows.

2. In six years, all the things that seemed to signify the end of the world will be welcome distractions. Nothing prepares you for what the next year can bring, but I can promise you that it only gets harder from here on out. Now don't get discouraged because while I can attest that problems will get more complicated, the rewards will also increase.

3. This one may seem crazy, but you're about to leave home for college and while studying is important, go forth and get a job! Yes education is important, but I can promise you once you graduate, companies care way more about your experiences than a piece of paper. This is really one thing I wish I knew because I can tell you that post college graduation was a rough start for me.

4. High school friends are wedding guests, while college friends are bridesmaids. The friends you meet from here on out are your forever friends. Nobody chooses to get a high school education because it is required, but those who move onto university are their by choice and hardwork, and that's when you start finding those like-minded people who will really make an impact on your life.

5. It's okay to feel lost. I'll admit even now if someone asks me what I'm doing, I have a cover story and smile to hide that inside I really have no clue about a thing. The difference between between being lost and losing it though is holding fast to the idea that today, tomorrow, and maybe even the next year might make no sense, but in the end everything that should will fall into place.

The world is truly your oyster but stop looking for your pearl and realize that you are the greatest treasure. Love yourself before you try to love anything else because at the end of the day that's what counts. You're going to do great kid, just keep your head up, cry if you need to, and when all else fails, just dance.

XO, Me

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