A Letter to My Graduating Friends

 

Let me preface this by saying that I am a sentimental fool.

Graduations are one of those bittersweet moments in life. On the one hand, finishing a chapter in your life is super exciting! You’ve made it through to the next phase which is, let’s face it, pretty awesome. But then you reflect on all those exciting changes coming in your life and realize that life has handed you a double edged sword.

You aren’t simply starting a new chapter. You are simultaneously saying goodbye to the last chapter and all the places and people that made it special. It’s an experience comparable to staring at the ocean: both beautiful and terrifying in its sheer power.

I am not graduating and moving on for at least another year but some of my very dear friends are and this is dedicated to them.

As you enter the new stage of your life here are some quotes I have for you:

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Mother Teresa.

In the theme of sappiness, thank you for the time I spent with you. I am indeed better and happier.

“Whatever you are, be a good.” Abraham Lincoln

Please, be the best elementary teacher, physician’s assistant, pr person, nurse, doctor, whatever that is out there. Shine and show your passion in the way that made me love you.

“People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Leonardo Divinci

This one is self explanatory but don’t limit yourself. Reach for the stars, the moon, or the top of the Empire State Building. Just reach and try.

Last, “Never hold onto anything tighter than you’re holding onto God.”

I hope you learned from me that there is a quote for everything and hats are always a good choice! I love you and will miss you! Congrats on graduating!

 

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Advice for high school seniors

Ok so this could also be titled “Things I wish I’d known/grasped at 17.” But that’s become so cliche and plebian that I feel the need to have a less generic title. 

  1. It’s okay that if it’s January and you don’t what college you’re going to. It’s also okay if you’ve already graduated and it’s may and you still haven’t decided where you’re going.

I stressed my ENTIRE senior junior high school career about where I was going to college. Neither Meridian Community College nor Mississippi State University were on my list of dream colleges. I sat through a graduation ceremony without having enrolled in a college or scheduling classes. I survived and even thrived. 

  1. Community college doesn’t suck.

Okay, so maybe going to a community college sounds lame. I mean I want adventure in the great wide somewhere not to stay in this provincial town (GOOD MORNING BELLE!). Bonus points to anyone who got that BEFORE I added the parentheses. Back to the point, I understand not wanting to spend time at a 2 year institution. But you know what I understand more than that. Getting paid to go to college vs going in debt. You can go to community college and still enjoy yourself and make memories. Don’t listen to the snooty people who go straight off. Let them complain about student loans in 4 years while you can put that money in the bank. 

3. Don’t take 8 a.m. classes

While we’re on the subject classes at noon and night classes are pretty lame too. 8 a.m. WILL NOT BE as EASY in college as it was in high school. And I didn’t even think it was easy in high school. 

  1. You are not a second class citizen because you’re 17 and haven’t dated.

You also aren’t a second class citizen if you’re 21 and still haven’t gone on that first date. The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. (I’m pretty sure I’m quoting someone just not sure who or what). There are many reasons for why you aren’t dating now. Most of them are cliche but true. But what’s the big one? You just haven’t met the right person at the right time yet. Simple as that. While we’re on the subject, DON’T SETTLE. You deserve to be with someone you’re crazy about. Conversely, The person you could settle for deserves someone who is crazy about him/her. 

5. Revel in your first love

Okay, so here’s the deal. You’re first boyfriend WILL NOT be the person you marry. And guess what? That is completely okay. But you really should revel in that first love, nothing can go wrong feeling while you can. Make the memories worth the heartache of your first break up. Spend fifteen minutes in the driveway saying goodbye. Laugh. Be silly. Make the perfect gift. Be the annoying couple while you can because later you’ll know better than to shamelessly flirt with your s/o while others are around. 

6. Quit worrying.

Things will not go according your perfect plan. Also, just so you know, your “perfect plan” isn’t perfect. Believe it or not, everything will be okay. Quit stressing about the future. It doesn’t need you to worry about it.

7. DO.

Do something new and adventurous. Learn to crochet. Or ballroom dance. Or speak another language. Start cooking for yourself- like real meals not ramen noodles all the time. Do crazy pinterest projects. Now is the time to create and find yourself. Figure out what you like and do it. Now is also the time you can get experience for free or cheap. And saving the best for last…

8. Realize that life is about relationships and experiences not material possessionsImage