A NOTE TO THE CLASS OF 2016

Local schools are graduating today so felt it was appropriate to finally do this one.
  1. My go-to advice always comes down to 6 words:
  2. Make Good Choices.
  3. Think About Consequences.
  4. (So much so that when friends saw this movie they thought of me)
  5. But I think I've got some more to pass on.
  6. So....
  7. To the high school class of 2016:
  8. Congrats! You've done it! You finished high school!
  9. Enjoy this time in your life. You are young. You have so much energy. You're probably in decent shape without any effort and lots of fast food. Enjoy it.
  10. If you're having issues with your parents, I understand your pain. It's frustrating and there's so much change. Try your best to do your best to realize that this is a huge time of change for them too. It is an exciting time but also kinda sucks for everyone, especially if you're going away to college.
  11. Parents are kinda attached to you and used to having you around. This is gonna be hard on them. As much as you want to enjoy your freedom and roll out with your friends all the time, try to carve out a little time for your family. Trust me, it'll mean a lot and you'll probably still have time to go to the movies or the beach with your pals.
  12. If you aren't going to college, that's ok! These days, odds are good in 4 years you'll be in a better place job-wise than your college-going friends. Whatever you're going to do, stick with it. Try to find something you're passionate about and go after it. Take whatever opportunity comes your way. But also, be a go-getter and create opportunity.
  13. If you are going to college, you're probably equal parts super pumped and kinda nervous, and that's ok! It would be weird if you weren't. Everyone else is too! It's a time of so much potential and it can really go either way, to be honest. That's (mostly) up to you.
  14. Everyone's college experience is different. You know why? Everyone is coming from a different place (literally and mentally and emotionally). You don't know everyone's story and they don't know yours, yet.
  15. If you don't become instant best friends with your roommate(s), that's ok! Some people get that magic match and are instant best friends and live together all 4 years. A lot of people aren't that lucky. Sometimes you just need to go down the hall. Or find someone in your classes. Be willing to talk to people. Engage. It'll be worth it.
  16. What interests you? Find a place to get/do that. You'll probably find other people who like things you do, and those will probably be good new friend candidates.
    This advice also applies to classes/choosing a major. If there's a class that looks interesting, TAKE IT! Even if it's not your major. It's always good to gain more knowledge and that one class that started with a spark of interest, it just may change your life. Also, try and find an internship or 2 during your time there. Also, volunteer!!!! Find an cause of something
  17. Odds are good you're an 18 year old who thinks they know a lot. That may be true. But it is also very true that you don't know everything. (Spoiler alert: no one does) but don't put down someone who has a different viewpoint than you. Listen to others. Learn. Have a dialogue. Try your very best not to judge or jump to conclusions.
    This can be easier said than done but trust me, it's worth it. Help us continue to make the world a better place.
  18. Enjoy where you are. At this point in your life and also where you are physically located. Try and find a local non-chain place to eat or hang out. Become a local! Find cool places and things to do. Go for walks. Find things to do just for fun.
  19. Let me warn you that college is not easy. Your freshman and sophomore years will be your hardest and full of challenges and changes. Just go into it being aware of this. Get through to the otherside. It will get better. Do not give up. After these 2 years you'll have a better handle on things. The rest isn't easy but it's easier.
  20. But, if you find yourself in the darkness, do not be afraid to seek out help. Talk to a friend or an RA. Go to church. Lots of campuses offer free/cheap counseling, Take Advantage of It! You are not alone, even when it really feels like it. Seek the light. Go out into the sunshine. Keep on fighting.
  21. Take advantage of campus living while you can. You have your whole life worry about paying rent and bills and grocery shopping. Live on campus. Go to the caf. Stay out late and make memories. Be silly. Stay up til 4 having deep discussions. ENJOY IT!!
    Seriously. You can sleep later. You can't have these experiences later. (I mean, naps are good. Get some rest. But don't sleep away these days of your life!)
  22. To the college Class of 2016:
  23. You did it!!
  24. You worked hard. You may have partied hard. You finished. Be proud! This is a major accomplishment.
  25. When you start applying for jobs, it may no longer feel like a major accomplishment. The days where a college degree automatically equaled a great job seem to have passed us by. It sucks. But you still accomplished a great thing. Never stop being proud of that.
  26. Job hunting is hard. Some people you graduated with will end up with their dream jobs. Most will not. There is a wicked cycle of needing experience but not having enough experience to get the job to get the experience. It really sucks. You may end up having to take an internship or entry level job that you feel is below you as a college grad.
    Again, it sucks. It really does. It isn't fair. But it is life. Try to make the best of it. Try to find work that makes a difference. Strive to find work that makes you happy. Bills need to be paid. But try not to give up your soul or your happiness to make that happen.
  27. This year after you graduate will quite possibly be the hardest and most depressing of your life so far. You just lived a great and awesome 4(ish) years. You lived within miles or hallways away from your friends. You could always find someone to go do something. Now, there's distance between you all. And that's a hard adjustment to make.
    It really takes an effort to maintain friendships when you grow up. It's SUPER hard to make friends as a grown up. Hang on to these relationships. It is worth the work. However, some relationships and friendships are not meant to last forever. It is ok to cut out toxic people from your life. People change. People grow. It's hard. But it's ok. Do what is best for you.
  28. It is ok to say no. It really is. If you don't want to do something or go somewhere, say no. You are a grown up. No can be one of the most freeing words you'll ever say.
  29. It is ok to say yes. Don't let things hold you back. If you want to do something or go somewhere, say yes. Just do it. It is your life. Live it.
  30. It is ok if you end up not using your degree. Tons of people never use their anthropology degree for anthropology purposes. Find work that motivates you, that makes you happy, that you enjoy doing, that makes a difference. That's the stuff that really matters.
    But all the knowledge you gained through your college years is worth it. You're a better person for having studied and learned it. You'll find a way to use it.
  31. Welcome to the Real World. Don't give up. Keep fighting. Keep living. Find your corner of the world and make an impact. Travel. Get new experiences. Volunteer. Get connected. LIVE.
  32. But what do I know? All I learned was from this song.
  33. 🎉🎓🎉
  34. Congrats Class of 2016 graduates! You did it!!