It’s graduation season, and high school graduation photos have been flooding my various timelines. It’s a season of hope, new beginnings, and excitement for the potential that the future holds.
It’s a wonderful time of year. It has me reflecting back to when I graduated a not so short time ago. I remember the excitement I felt, but I was also a little confuse and a lot of scared.
I was a first generation college student, not sure with what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but faced with so many decisions. All I knew was that I was going to college, but I am not even sure I understood what exactly that meant for my future.
My reflection led me to think about what I wish someone would have said to me; those tokens I wish that someone would have deposited in my life bank.
If I had to write it down for myself with the life I have lived this far this is what I would say to my younger 17 year old self (I graduated early).
While everyone is going to expect you to know what’s next, it’s OK if you don’t know yet.
Take some time, live a little, learn a lot – about who you are, what you want from life – and then start to map it out.
But understand that as with any trip there will be detours, road blocks and turn arounds. Take them in stride, there’s usually a lesson when they present themselves. Learn it and don’t be upset about the change in course. While you are driving the vehicle, it’s only being leased to you by your heavenly father, you will have to turn it back in – preferably in good condition.
Understand that those before you could graduate high school, go into the workforce and build a wonderful career and great life. But in your times that is not the case, you HAVE TO do something more.
While college is a great option, it is not the only option.College is a great option, but it's not the only option Click To Tweet
With that said, don’t rush off to school to start a career if you are not sure of who or what you want to be.
I cannot put enough emphasis on finding out who you are. If you do not take the time to do it, you will not be happy or fulfilled in anything that you do – work, love life, parenting – all the same.
While you will grow older and inevitably change, find out what your core values are, what is truly important to you, and what you are willing to negotiate or let go of altogether. Life will test them out, if you are not solid in them you will fall hard.
It is not until you figure those things out that you truly have something to give without completely draining yourself.
Allow yourself to be exposed to many things, people and places alike.
As cliché as it sounds, never judge a book by its cover. If you do, you will be guaranteed to miss out on some great relationships, experiences, lessons, and opportunities.
While your parents have helped to get you here, it is now time to put on your big girl panties and find your way. Learn how to feed yourself, financially, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually.
This life is short, find out what you believe in, and stand firm on it. Learn it and live it. People should know what you believe by your actions and your words. Your name is all you have, so don’t allow anyone, including you to tarnish it.
Lastly, understand that this life is filled with lessons. At the point in time that you think you have arrived, you should probably be packing your bags to make another move.
You are never too old to learn, and what you learn you should teach.
“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.”