Watching silently from the sidelines this time of year as speaker upon speaker doles out advice to newly minted graduates can be a difficult task for journalists, as prone as we are to believing we know more than most.
But as we are usually passed over for time at the podium by honored members of the graduating class or accomplished pillars of the community, Current Publishing editors and reporters, as an annual tradition, reserve this space once a year for our own commencement address, of sorts.
So to all new graduates out there, here is some advice to heed during life’s next chapter:
Push your limits: Get out of your comfort zone and master a new task, large or small. Take up chess. Plant a garden. Learn to juggle. Take on something new, and soon you’ll feel like you can take on anything.
Pay attention: Put down the iPod, stop text messaging, turn off the TV, close up the laptop, and just be still for a few minutes each day. A lot of life comes in the reflection.
Learn to cook: Master three or four inexpensive meals, and you’ll never go hungry or broke. You’ll also be a savior and a magician in the eyes of your friends.
Tuck in your shirt: Overdress for interviews and important meetings. It is hard to put your best foot forward when you are wearing flip-flops.
Never stop learning: Read whatever you can get your hands on, whether books, magazines, newspapers, or websites. Check out as much music as you can, whether it’s new or old. Spend a rainy afternoon at an art gallery.
Be humble: Life becomes a lot easier when you act as if it owes you nothing.
Go abroad: If your college offers a semester overseas, take advantage. It is likely the easiest opportunity you’ll have to live for a time in a foreign land.
But leave the accent there: However, if you do spend a few months in, say, Sydney, it in no way means you can call everyone stateside “mate” upon your return.
Take risks: Youth can be a wonderful excuse. So, stay up too late, take a too-long road trip with too-little money, and otherwise jump into the kind of small adventures that make life interesting.