It’s graduation time again and I know a lot of graduates are thinking, “What am I going to do with my life? How will I know the right thing to do without the helping, nurturing hand of my parents?”
The rest are thinking, “Party!!!! Party!!!!”
I remember going to my high school graduation and listening to the convocation speakers hoping they would provide me with the words of wisdom to understand life and be a success.
Instead, all I heard was this junk about life being a journey, and you take one step at a time. And, how in life, you’ll travel through hills and valleys and you should stop on the mountaintops every now and then to enjoy the view.
Here I was looking for a blueprint to life, and all I got was a monologue on hiking. Actually, now that I look at the current boom in walking, hiking and backpacking, I realize I might be rich now if I’d listened closer to my graduation speaker instead of trading notes with Patty Kulik during the ceremony.
So, to make amends to my graduation speaker and the hundreds of other speakers no one is listening to, I am giving this year’s graduates a list of the important things they should know about life. So grads, cut this out, put it in your wallet and keep it. In a couple of years, you’ll take it out, look at it and go, “What the heck am I doing with this in my wallet?”
Things to remember in life:
1. Work hard at whatever you do, and do it well, even if you’re the only one who recognizes it — which is usually the case.
2. Don’t get discouraged. Every time one door closes another one opens. Just don’t leave your wallet behind and take your car keys with you.
3. Remember, the people you pass on the way up in life will probably be the same ones preparing the estimate when your car breaks down.
4. Don’t talk to strangers. Especially anyone wearing swim fins and aviator glasses singing to themselves on street corners.
5. Change your underwear at least twice a week. Sometimes you find money in there that will come in handy. But wash it first.
6. Think about your parents occasionally because they’re out there always thinking of you.
7. Remember there’s no free lunch in life except when you get one of those two-for-one coupons for McDonalds and someone else is buying.
8. Have a little fun along the way. Life’s too important to be taken seriously all the time.
9. Marry the right person. It makes life a lot easier.
10. If life gives you lemons, ask to see the menu again.
11. Close the refrigerator door. (I thought I’d slip that in one last time for all us parents.)
12. Don’t live your life by the advice found in fortune cookies. From experience, I know it doesn’t work.
13. Beware of the word “milestone” because the more times you hear it, the older you are.
14. Believe in yourself. When you do, wonderful things happen sometimes.
15. Finally, the most important thing to know is this. Whether you go out and work real hard and become a success after graduation or you take off to see the world and be a vagabond, either way in 20 years you’ll wish you’d done the other thing.
— Myron Kukla