Every year at graduation time I try to impart a few words of the limited wisdom I have obtained over the years to those heading out into the world now that they are officially “grown-up.”
Sure, I could say the same thing every year, the same things everyone else tells the graduating senior about following dreams and being successful, but I try to keep it interesting. I try to either cover those things about being an adult no one tells you about, or the things no one wants to mention.
Here we go again:
Playing “Call of Duty” on xBox does not count as “military experience” on a job application.
Remember, tattoos are something you will have your entire life, so choose very carefully what you get because you’re stuck with it. Most importantly, don’t get a boyfriend or girlfriend’s name tattooed on you unless you are really sure they are the one.
Guys — a ball cap turned sideways on your head and pants sagging down around your backside is not cool much past 18 (actually, its not cool at all as far as I’m concerned) and its definitely not going to go over well during a job interview. Neither is calling your potential boss “dude” during introductions.
Even though you are “grown up” you should still remember to call mom or dad to tell them where you are and when you’ll be home. Also, parents like it when you remember their birthdays, give them a call.
You can make fun of the music we listened to when we were your age (heck, I make fun of it myself sometimes) but remember, you’ll be hearing Lady Gaga and Lil’ Wayne someday on an Oldies Collection, so have your fun now at our expense — your day is coming.
Sure, being a sarcastic loud mouth is fun when you’re a teenager, but now that you’re an adult remember, sarcasm will land you in trouble if you don’t learn when and when not to use it. For example, sarcasm is great when you’re joking around with friends, not when you’ve been pulled over by a police officer that’s asking for your license, registration and proof of insurance. At moments like this, you need to remember what mom and dad taught you about manners. Sometimes they can go a long way.
It helps to learn directions when you’re driving. If you’re bad at directions keep a map handy. Before you say “I’ve got a GPS” just remember — a GPS is essentially a computer, it runs off electricity and it communicates with satellites. If anything goes wrong with any of those elements you no longer have a working GPS. So keep a map handy, just in case.
Same advice about GPS units applies to cell phones. It’s a good idea to keep change handy in case you need to use a pay phone. Yes, I know pay phones are going the way of the 8- track tape but there are still some out there and you may need to use one someday to call home — or for help.
I guess that covers graduation 2011. I’ll conclude by saying this: Good luck as you embark on the rest of your life. Remember your true family and friends will always be there for you and that life doesn’t come with a manual. You have to learn about it the hard way just like the rest of us did. Hopefully you’ll do just fine.