Congratulations Class of 2012!

 

Date:   May 2, 2012

To:      Graduating Class of 2012

From:  Mike / Moos

Re:      Your Life

Dear Graduate,

Congratulations to you and your family on the completion of your college degree!  Your commitment, determination, and the amount of effort required to attain this goal is admirable.  A heartfelt, “Well done” to you and to your family!  Take the week following graduation off to unwind, re-group, and, then, as quickly as you can… get back to work.

You have survived sixteen (or more) grueling years of ‘Education’, provided to you by the men and women of Academia committed to a singular goal: 

 

Teaching you how to pass their tests 

However, you now enter another phase of your life, a period in your life in which tests do not appear on computer-readable scoring sheets.  You are now a graduate.  You’re moving on.  You’ve proven that you have mastered the “Fill in the bubble completely, make no stray marks on the test sheet” period of your life.

Now real testing begins.  This is why I write this note today at somewhere shy of 5 a.m. - because I want you to succeed in your life, I want you to be happy, and I want you to know that I, and millions of others, want you to be financially secure, and incredibly prosperous in your post-collegiate life.

I am writing to you to tell you things your parents may not have told you.  I am writing to tell you things I wish someone had told me.  I am here to tell you things which I learned after college – when learning truly began for me.  I am writing this to help you transition from your life as ’full-time student’ to that of ‘full-time taxpayer’.  I wish I could do more for you.  I really do.  But I’ll do what I can.

Okay, having rambled on longer than I planned, I want to share a couple of things I’ve learned so you can get a jump on ‘life’:

1.  Thank your parents (and understand that they love you more than anyone else on Earth ever will)

2.  Believe in yourself

3.  Be careful who(m) you trust (basic rule of thumb here:  If someone wants you to do something that you wouldn’t ‘knowingly do’ with your parents in the room, it’s probably a BAD idea)

4.  Believe in the goodness of others.  I am often amazed by selfless-acts done to my benefit, most of which were without my asking for help and sometimes by people I didn’t even know

5.  Reserve at least one night per week to wander into your back-yard, your patio, or into the street (yes, look for cars first) on a clear night, look up to the sky and understand that of all the beings who exist on the planet - that there is only one of ‘you’

6.  Focus your efforts to exploring your possibilities vs. your limitations – there will be plenty of people lining up to explain your limitations to you as you attempt to grow older (wiser?)

7.  Take a job because you love it, not because it “Pays lots of money, man.  Yeah, stupid, crazy, BIG money” — typically jobs with this type of pay-schedule end up with jail-time and an orange jumpsuit

8.  If you cannot find a job (85% of graduating college students are moving back in with Mom and Dad), start a business, employ yourself as opposed to an employee of someone who doesn’t ‘like you’ as much as you ‘like yourself’

9.  If you feel as if you cannot handle the stress associated with ‘life’, print out this list, and then go back up top and begin reading at Number 1 through Number 8 again – no skipping steps to save time – trust me

I was originally going to post something completely different regarding the real challenges college graduates will face this year in light of the economy, employment, and social stuff going on in our Nation.  Only problem is that after re-reading my post from yesterday about most of the news being ‘bad’, I decided to take my own advice and lighten up.

All in all, I’m happier with the way this turns out than if I had gone the route I began to pursue at the onset.  I think this may become one of those posts I toss up annually into the old blogyard, hoping that someone will find some use of it as they graduate from their place of ‘Higher Learning’.    

 

p.s.:  But wait, there’s more!!!  

A DEEP THOUGHT: 

One limitation of the human mind is that it cannot focus on the ‘opposite of something’. 

For Example:  I remember when I was a kid riding a bike down the shoulder of the road and a car would come up behind me – I’d tell myself, “Don’t ride off the edge of the road – you’ll fall”. 

Then, of course, I often DID fall.  Because all my brain heard was the ’ride off the edge of the road’ part of the conversation.  It also heard, “When you DO fall, fall onto the grass on the right, because if you fall to the left they’re going to clean you off the street with a garden hose.”   

No one told me that I should have been telling myself, “Stay close to the shoulder, but stay on the road.”  For those of you still reading, please feel free to learn from this as well as items 1-9 above. 

I guess this is every one’s challenge, regardless of his / her age: 

Focus on the road, remain upright, and keep pedalling until you get to where you want to be.  

With a bit of practice, a few skinned knees, and a healthy heap of humility earned from the required number of falls, you’ll get to where you want / need to be.  The necessary thing, of course, is to keep your hands firmly on the handle bar and you keep your legs keep moving up and down.

Yes, we’re all pedalling together – as best as we can. 

Yup, I’m pedalling too. 

I’m the guy right behind you who put those baseball cards into the spokes of the tires of my Schwinn ‘Banana Bike’ to make that “Thwacka, thwacka, thwacka…” noise as I pedal.   

Sorry.  I thought it sounded cool when I first put them in there 43 years ago…

Too bad I’m not cool enough for the Wham-O! Wheelie Bar – it sure would make a fine addition to my bike.

 

 

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One Response to “Congratulations Class of 2012!”

  1. Gabriel says:

    Moos…I doubt many commencement speakers will provide your advice to their graduation attendees, no matter how sound. I was on the hunt for a real ProbLib this past week. Couldn’t find a soul. I have some thoughts about why that was so. I will expand in a second or so.

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