I work in a high school. I don’t remember ever being as young as the kids are in my school, but clearly, I was at some point. I mean, it’s not like I could skip an age, right? No matter how badly my daughter might wish it. No matter how badly I wished it once upon a time. It’s pretty comical now. I used to ask my mom why she waited so late to have me, why couldn’t I have been born when she was younger, that way I’d be older already. I know, I know. Now I see the fallacy in my thinking. Never, and i mean N.E.V.E.R. try to grow up too fast. Life will pass you by in the blink of an eye and before you know what’s happened, someone with gray hair and wrinkles will be looking back at you from the mirror and saying, ‘What the hell happened?”
So, in celebration of my 29th high school graduation, I wanted to share 29 things I learned with the newly minted high school graduates.
1. Do what you say you’ll do. Don’t commit to something and then back out or change your mind. You’ll look like a flake and no one will belive you next time around if you make a habit of it.
2. Accept responsibility for what you do. You can’t blame someone else for what happens to you.
3. You can only control yourself, and nothing and no one else. Try not to waste too much time and energy being upset over things that are out of your control.
4. Hug your mom and dad while you can. They’re the only ones you’ll ever get and they won’t be here forever.
5. Don’t gossip. It is a form of character assassination, for the gossiper, not the subject of gossip. If it isn’t your news, don’t share it. You’ll make many more friends this way.
6. People will hurt you. Don’t let that change who you are, but don’t be a doormat either.
7. Don’t be afraid of change. Without change, we can’t grow and find out who we’re meant to be.
8. Don’t tie yourself to people that make you unhappy or are negative. Life is too short and there will be plenty of your own struggles and drama, you dont’ want someone else’s.
9. Never, ever settle for less than what you want, especially when it comes to your love life.
10. The best things in life take work, alot of hard work, to achieve. Do the work, you’ll appreciate the result much more.
11. Don’t post things on Twitter or Instagram that you don’t want your parents, a college admissions counselor or future employer to see, because they will.
12. If it’s online, it’s forever, even if you delete it.
13. Don’t ignore those little red flags that you feel in your gut, they will never steer you wrong.
14. As cliché as this sounds, everything happens for a reason. Just know it’s the way it’s supposed to be, go with it.
15. Karma has a long memory and she’s a bitch. Let go of the anger know that the universe will make the corrections and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show. It may take a while, but it’ll happen.
16. Your boss is paying you to work, not clock in & hangout. The more initiative you show at work, finding things to do when it’s slow, the better your odds of keeping your job for a longer period of time.
17. Work in retail or restaurants at least once. Just trust me on this one.
18. Say ‘Thank you’ and mean it.
19. Don’t be afraid to disagree with people, but don’t be mean and rude when you have discussions. Conversations with people who have different views or are from a different background can be quite enlightening.
20. Don’t judge a book by its cover. What someone looks like, may not be the whole story, get to know someone before deciding if you like them or not.
21. Go to the dentist. Brush and floss your teeth every day. Unless of course you want to have dentures, and if that’s the case, don’t worry about the first part.
22. Always be true to who you are and don’t let someone else change you to suit their needs or desires. If you meet someone who makes you want to be a better person, that is a different story altogether.
23. Try new things, food or music or whatever. You never know, you might find a new favorite that you’ve been missing.
24. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
25. Be courteous on the roads and let people in. And always use your turn signals and seatbelt. They literally could save your life.
26. Nothing good happens after midnight. Ever.
27. Take care of yourself. You can pay now and play later. Or play now and pay later. If you want to be the cool granny/pops w/the kids at Disney, you can’t sit around now playing video games and eating cheetos all day. Eat well, exercise often.
28. If you’re going to do something, go all in. Don’t do it halfway.
29. Smile. Alot.