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June 2, 2013

OUR VIEW: Hey grad, here’s some free advice

For the area high school seniors graduating today, life is about to change — drastically.

Nothing will ever be the same again. Some days, it will be hard to see that life is different, but you’ll know that it is. Some days, there will be no denying the changes. While today’s world doesn’t have the same rites of passage as days gone by, high school graduation remains a solid indicator of your transition into adulthood.

And for those of us who’ve been there and struggled with the whole being an adult thing, we’d like to give you recent graduates some advice. You can take it or leave — it’s your decision. That’s the beauty of being an adult.

First off, don’t panic.

You may have big dreams about what you want your life to turn out to be or you may not have a clue. Either way, it’s entirely possible it won’t work out the way you thought it would. And that doesn’t mean you’ve failed at life. Life is unpredictable, and you’d be wise to learn to go with the flow sooner rather than later.

Find out what you love.

A life fueled by passion is something to be envied. It’s also something few people seem to have. There’s a world of careers and hobbies out there. Find the one that speaks to you and makes you smile at the thought of it. If you can find a way to make your hobby your job, more power to you.

When they say, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” they’re incredibly right.

SAVE FOR TOMORROW

Make the right decisions today that put you on good financial footing for tomorrow. Start saving as soon as you possibly can. No matter how small you have to start, put a little of every paycheck into a savings account.

A life dictated by the fear of tomorrow’s car repair or unexpected cost is no way to life. Trust us, money in the bank will help you sleep at night.

live a little.

We humans are creatures of habit. We love our routines, but life’s too short for that. If you’re given an opportunity to experience something, say yes. Even if it’s outside your comfort zone or your schedule, say yes. Travel. Eat exotic foods. Try anything (OK, almost anything) once. If even you think you won’t enjoy yourself, do it. If nothing else, you’ll have a story to tell around a campfire someday.

Believe in yourself.

If you don’t, no one else will. Even if you’re making it up as you go, believe you’ll not only be OK, but that you’ll succeed. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back and keep you from trying. It’s amazing how far you can go if only you believe you can.

just plain have fun.

Find the humor and excitement in everyday life. Those big moments — college graduation, marriage, first child, etc. — are only the punctuation marks of life. Don’t overlook the small wonders life brings every day.

Your generation has taken YOLO (That’s “You Only Live Once” for everybody else) as a mission statement of sorts, so make sure you carry that into your adult years.

Live. Live well. Live often.

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