Old Advice for New Grads
During the next few weeks on Fridays and Saturdays, families will gather to watch a beloved son or daughter graduate from High School. They will clap and cheer when they are not crying. They will have flashbacks of when their child was younger and some will fret over what the future holds for their child.
Some are ready to meet the demands of college life and some are not. Some head directly to the work place and some to the military. As a professor in a large university, I welcomed many of these same children, a mere three months later, into my classroom. While it was not an eye-opener to me, it usually was to them. First time away from home. Parents not bossing them around. Get to stay up as late as they want. No one bossing them around. Skip class to play games. Go to all the parties. Friends don’t boss them around. Freedom was never so sweet!
Four weeks into the semester and they are exhausted, sometimes sick, and possibly failing a few classes. They take a nap, visit their advising office, and then begin to remember the advice they were given at graduation and over the summer.
Here are a few gems I have heard over the years that apply to all young adults leaving home and starting their new journey.
Treat college like a full-time job. This is your workplace.
Move the alarm clock into the bathroom away from the bed.
Have fun but don’t take unnecessary risks.
Don’t forget from whence you came. In other words, remember your family.
Don’t forget to say “thank-you” to those who help you.
Back up your hard drive.
Learn where your professor’s office is.
Do more work than is required.
Be bold. If there is a choice, take a chance.
Try something new.
Work your butt off.
Give back to others.
Follow your dreams. Do something that interests you. Life is long.
Learn to listen to others.
Don’t forget that God is in control of your life.
The Golden Rule still applies. (Treat others the way you want to be treated)
Never quit learning.
A quote from humorist Will Rogers:
“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.”
And a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Graduation is a wonderful time to celebrate the successes of our children and to send them on their way. Parenting does not end with the final bars of “Pomp and Circumstance.” It changes dramatically though. The new graduates are ready to face new challenges on their own. We have had years to invest and give advice. Now, it is time to let them go.
They will call back. I promise.
Congratulations to all graduates. This is an exciting time in your life. I wish you the best.