Graduate Advice

I work at a university church, so every year we say goodbye to a new batch of graduates. We had a sendoff Mass/lunch for them today, and usually the staff imparts some wisdom upon the graduates. Apparently that wasn’t in the schedule this year, but the advice I was going to give was:

Your first job won’t be your last job, your first love probably won’t be your only love, and you’ll make way more mistakes than perfect decisions.

I had it all planned out in my head–I’d say it, notice some seniors nodding, letting it sink in. I’d get some pats on the back later, maybe an e-mail thanking me for my insight, and in 10-15 years, I’d get a letter from one of the students saying that my words had such a profound impact on them that they never forgot my wisdom, and they wanted to express their gratitude by buying me a tank full of dolphins and sea kittens.

Unfortunately, we didn’t say our advice outloud.

I think I might also add some practical advice that I’ve written blogs about, like:

  1. Always have a friend with a pickup truck.
  2. Hold your beer in your non-handshaking hand.
  3. When going out for a business lunch, make your selection in advance.

There’s plenty more on the guy talk and leadership pages.

What advice would you give a graduating senior?

10 thoughts on “Graduate Advice”

  1. I like it! I think you should start writing for Hallmark.

    Since I’m always panicky when obstacles arise, my parents say this to calm me down.
    “Big problems become small problems,
    Small problems become no problems!”
    It means to not magnify a problem, but look at it as just another problem and a solution is always there. It makes alot of sense to me but acting upon it, it’s not always successful.

  2. Something I wish I was told BEFORE graduating, “College is not the real world AT ALL”. After graduation, I would have to agree with your advice. I like that we can make choices throughout our lives, and changing profession is completely acceptable.

      • I give people the benefit of the doubt, respect up front, and believe they are inherently good just because that’s the way I was raised, and I do believe all of those things. Let’s just say there is a surprising lack of work ethic, office gossip and complaining is very high school, and college makes itself seem like the end all be all when it’s not. On the other hand, the experience is like no other, and you make it what you will. I don’t know why I keep getting surprised when I encounter the above. I guess I just keep dreaming there is this one perfect place where people actually enjoy what they do, complain about realistic problems instead of EVERYTHING, and leave personal crap out of the office. Do I sound arrogant? I’m really afraid that will happen.

        • I don’t think you sound arrogant. I also don’t think I’ve ever found a place (school or work) where those things don’t occur. I think they probably happen less often at nonprofits, though.

          • Something more of what I was trying to say, more on the negative end…

            “College is not the real world at all. The secret to success is who you know, not what you know. Life is a game and the cheaters seem to always win.”

            I was reacting to some arguments I was overhearing at my office last week, which I make a point NOT to get involved in, followed by just asinine complaining.

            No wonder I never got along with others in school (so said my report card). LOL

            • Hm. I agree with “The secret to success is who you know, not what you know.” I don’t know about the rest–I take a different approach. 🙂

  3. I would tell my students “Live your life’s passion- whether that’s in work or in play. Stay passionate- once you lose that it means its time to move on.”

    • I like that a lot. Especially the second clause. You can’t fake or force passion–it’s either there or it isn’t.


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