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Practical Advice for the Graduating Class of 2017

The Class of 2017 is about to hit the world with their graduation tassels still swinging. Here’s some practical advice for the newest batch of high school grads.

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

I cannot believe that it has officially been 20 years since I graduated high school. What is even harder to believe is that my own daughter is now officially a high school grad as well. I have been really struggling with the realization that she is all grown up now and about to go to college but on the flip side, I am beyond proud of the woman she is becoming. I’ve also been thinking of things that I want her to know and I feel like it’s pretty sound advice for any new graduate, so I decided to share.

  1. Yes, you have your whole life ahead of you, but start saving now. No one ever really taught me the importance of this. Even if it’s only $5 or $10 out of your paycheck, put it in a savings account. Skip a latte if you have to, but save a little for a rainy day.
  2.  Travel. Often. Do this now before the responsibilities of life take hold. Take a road trip. Buy a plane ticket to a random city. Get on a bus or just go for a hike and explore, but get out of your comfort zone and have some new experiences
  3. While you’re traveling, eat what the locals eat. Skip the fast food and the chain restaurants and really experience the cities that you visit. Drink the local coffee or eat the local donut.
  4. Everyone measures success differently. Be the person who measures it by the size of the impact that they have on the people around them, not on the size of your bank account.
  5. Give of yourself. Someone once told me, “If you can’t give money, give time. If you can give money, give both.” Be a giver.
  6. Never grow up. I know that there are real life responsibilities coming your way – rent, college tuition, car payments… but never forget the things that make you feel like you are 6 years old and do them often! Hula hoop. Run barefoot in the rain. Have a water balloon fight. Dance around your living room. These things will keep you young.
  7. Take care of you skin. Wash your face every night – no matter how tired you are. Moisturize, even if you don’t think you need it and please wear sunscreen. You’ll thank me in 20 years.
  8. Don’t forget to call or text your mom. Ok, I’ll be honest. This one is a little self-serving. Your mom (or dad) worry about you out there in the the world doing adult things. Check in once in a while. Even if it’s just to say “I love you.” It will mean far more to them than you could possibly realize. You are and always have been their “baby” after all.


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