During my years as a high school teacher of seniors, I would always read the soon to be graduates Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You Will Go and I would show a powerpoint with tips. Now that my daughter Paige is graduating from high school, I can share this advice with her.
I am so proud of you for graduating from high school and doing such a great job. I am proud of you for being in the National Honors Society, taking AP classes, participating in sports, and volunteering in the community.
I know that you are going to achieve great things in the years to come and I can’t wait to see these accomplishments.
You are apart of “Generation Z.” One of the major characteristics of your generation is that you have had access to advanced technology your entire life. You do not know what life is like without cell phones, data, high speed internet, texting, and all of the other things in our technology filled world. Be thankful that you didn’t have to do a high school English paper using a card catalog and hard backed books. You guys get instant information. If you don’t know something, you just google it and look for the wikipedia explanation.
Your generation has some people who have already made up their minds about you. Some call your generation lazy, entitled, and unable to get of off of social media or your cell phones.
I think that is true for some people your age but that is also true for some people my age. This is not you and I know you will show everyone how great you are.
I want to give you these ten tips and hope that you take my advice.
Top Ten Advice
- Always put God first. We all make mistakes but that doesn’t mean we can stop trying to please God. Keep a good moral character. If you think it would please God, you know you are doing the right thing. If you think that it wouldn’t please God, chances are you shouldn’t do it. J.C. Watts said “Character is doing the right thing when no one is looking.”
- Always try to be nice. This can be a hard one sometimes. This does not mean you have to allow people to treat you poorly. It means that you are nice to everyone (you can’t control them) and if someone is not nice to you, you remove them from your social circle. As you know already, when you are at work, sometimes you just have to put up with people who are not nice. Pray for them. I heard something the other day that I liked. “Practice the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”
3. Be a hard worker. This will set you apart. Do not ever do the minimum. Always take initiative (figure out yourself what you can do to go above and beyond) at your job and in life. People will be impressed by you and think to themselves that you are not a “typical Generation Z.”
4. Always be respectful. You are going to come across many people in your life (professors, bosses, etc) that you do not agree with how they act or their work ethic. You may not like them but always be respectful. You cannot control them, only yourself.
5. Be positive: People don’t like to be around negative people. You know that person who complains 99 percent of the time and is never happy? Don’t be that person. Try to be positive.
6.Protect your credit: Be responsible with your credit. Pay bills on time and don’t buy things you cannot afford to have. Be smart with your money. If you are smart with your money and responsible with your credit, your life will be easier in the future. Don’t do like many college students and take out credit cards and max them out.
7. Building relationships: Ask people about themselves and listen. You know that person who always talks about themselves and never asks you any questions? Don’t be that person. Building relationships is an important part of life. When you get to college, make sure you take time to build relationships with people from different areas (dorm, classes, activities, etc). Hang around your boyfriend but make sure you take separate time to invest in other relationships. I know several people who had the same boyfriend throughout college and they ended breaking up after college (or at the end). They regretted not getting more involved in the University and making more lasting friendships with other people. They look back and only have memories of themselves and their boyfriend.
8. Have fun…but not too much fun. College will be one of the best times of your life. Treasure it and enjoy it, but be responsible and make sure you are responsible with your classes.
9.Be humble: Always remember that you are no better than anyone else. Don’t make fun of people.
10. Treasure your family. They will always be there for you. Friends and others may come and go, but your family will always be there. We will be missing you like crazy so please make time to Facetime us and visit us. My heart hurts thinking about you eight hours away. When you graduate from college, please come back to the Houston area so we can see you a lot!
I love you,
PS. I can’t help but add a number eleven. I will be worried about your the entire time you are at college. Please do not ever get in a car of a person that has been drinking alcohol. Please do not ever walk on campus alone at night or go to (Target, etc) alone at night. Always be with another person or in a group. Watch your drink. There are bad people that sometimes slip drugs into girl’s drinks. Don’t text and drive. Be aware of your surroundings when you are out. Don’t text as you are walking into the grocery store. Bad guys will take advantage of girls who are not paying attention, especially in parking lots. Don’t stay out too late. Nothing good is going on at 2 AM. Past midnight, the amount of drunks on the road drastically increases. It is better to be at your final destination when it is late.
Dr. Seuss “Oh The Places You Will Go“
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
My question for you: What did I miss?