As the school year winds down and commencement exercises well, umm commence. I have some advice for my daughter. Some of it is about job searching and some of it is a little more personal in nature. I share it here in hopes that it will assist you in encouraging your graduates in one of the most exciting times of their life.
1) Don’t be afraid to take risks. Not stupid risks. I still want you to look both ways before crossing the street and for the love god hold an adult’s hand. A reasonable amount of risk is ok though. Examples taking stairs two at a time or coloring outside the lines if it will add to the picture.
2) Unplug every so often. Play outside. Smell the roses. Don’t check to see if your status about playing on the slide was liked by Facebook friends.
3) Self doubt is a sickness. You will come down with it. Be prepared to fight it off by having a list at the ready of things you have succeeded in. Number one on the list can be making your mom proud. Nobody doubts baby.
4) As bad as failure might feel, wondering if you could have made it is worse. Try out for things. Talk to new people. Sometimes you will suck really bad at things. Practice and get better or move on to what you are good at. Learn something from the experience. No one is taking score except for you. The world is getting far too narcissistic to worry if you tripped when you were walking down the hall. If they happen to catch it, yell out “Mind your business, Suzy!”
5) Live within your means. Don’t borrow money from mommy and daddy to buy ice cream. It’s never too early to educate yourself about the pitfalls of credit.
6) Choose friends wisely. It’s tempting to pick the ones with the best toys. Try to look for character instead. If you are lucky you will find people that have both. Then they will not only have the best toys, but they will share them.
7) Learn to cook and clean. Your mommy is not going to clean up after you forever (unless you pay a decent wage.) Make sure that you are studying how to be self sufficient now, so your brain doesn’t explode when you are on your own.
8) Enjoy this time in your life. Before you know it you will be driving a mini van with kids screaming in your ear about who is touching who. At present you still have the option to be the screamer instead of the screamee. Make the most of it (around your dad.)
9) Nobody likes a know it all. Be humble and keep your head down to learn. Sometimes even if you do know that someone took the wrong turn one time and got lost, you don’t have to bring it up every time mom drives somewhere. Continuously asking if she knows where she is going.
10) You have time to figure it out. The clock doesn’t start right after the graduation ceremony ends. Enjoy family and friends for the summer. Make connections that last.
I hope these pieces of advice get you through the rough times ahead. In the mean time, you should know that I am so proud of you for making it through kindergarten. There were mornings that you threatened to drop out. There were mornings I threatened to leave without you. In hindsight my threats were pretty empty and you should learn to be a better judge of such things. I ran out of room on the list though, so we will agree to work on that for first grade graduation. That’s how this works now, right? Everyone gets trophies and everyone has graduations for every grade? No matter I have set you up for life with this advice.