So I work with college students. Lots of them. Awesome ones. And watching the things they do constantly reminds me of things I SHOULD HAVE done in college. Ways I could have been more productive. Ideas I should have pushed farther. Basically, all the ways I wish I could go back and re-do things.That saying “you only regret the things you didn’t do” is 100% correct.
And as strong as they all are, they still have moments of weakness. And I realized right before graduation this year that the decisions I’ve made and things I’ve done have made me who I am. And there are some very valuable lessons I’ve learned since I graduated that I wanted to make sure they heard earlier. Being in the “I wish I had” or “why didn’t I” category of life really isn’t that fun. Much like a parent, I want them to be better than me. So here’s the list of advice I sent them (thanks to michelleswordpressyay for inspiring me to post this!) on their last day of classes.
Good afternoon seniors!
I just wanted to take a moment, on this, your last day of classes as an undergraduate (or grad – shout-out to two of you over-achievers!), to say thank you. Each of you has, in some way, impacted my first year here and I couldn’t be more grateful for the things you have taught me, the love you have shown me, and the spirit you bring every time I see your shining faces in my office.
Two years ago, at this time, I was where you are. And was – quite frankly – terrified. With no job and no real plans, I was pretty sure I was doomed. But things turned out ok (with no help from my constant stress). And I learned a ton on that journey that has made me a much better person today. So here is the top 12 list for the class of 2012!
Top 12 Things Morgan Has Learned Since Graduation That Would have Been Helpful To Hear Earlier:
- Money spent on socks and underwear is never wasted. Look good, feel good – it begins on the bottom layer, y’all.
- Iced coffee you make at home tastes just as good as Starbucks. Save the expensive stuff for special occasions.
- Don’t judge your success against the success of others – you never know what kind of mess they are underneath. Also, don’t fall into the trapping thought that your path isn’t as “worthy” as the path some others are taking.
- When you get your first job, read all the info on retirement. Then call your parents. And your bestie. And whoever else will listen. It’s kind of important.
- What you did in college doesn’t matter. What you learned does. Take those experiences and make your post-grad self as awesome as your undergrad self.
- Call your friends. They miss you. Call your mom. She misses you too. Basically call everyone – there will be times you need friends to talk to, so keep up with those relationships.
- Just because you get a real job doesn’t mean you have any more money than you did when you were a student – so keep an eye on it.
- Don’t forget to have some fun! Breakfast dance parties are completely appropriate – and will totally pump you up before a day at work.
- Always visit the office when you come to town – we all know the candy dish will never die. And really, operating under the mantra of “what would Sandy do?” isn’t a bad idea either.
- The crazy family you met in the office? They turn into the crazy neighbor/co-worker/boss/etc. You’ve been trained how to deal with them. Now don’t forget it! The ability to diffuse a situation WILL come in handy.
- It is ok to stay home on a Friday night. It’s also ok to go out on a weeknight and rally in the morning. Just make sure you find a happy balance and get your work done. Yes you’re still young, but no you’re not still in undergrad.
- You are amazing and capable of incredible things. No one is going to go out of their way to remind you of that fact, and you won’t be getting a grade on a paper to prove it – so it’s up to you to remind and reward yourself for it!
It has been a pleasure working with all of you. If you ever need ANYTHING I’m a phone call or text message away. Now go make me proud.