Advice to upcoming graduates Class of ’24

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2024

By Robert St. John
You are a few years away from beginning your professional life, but you are only
weeks away from planning for it. The decision you make about your professional
life should be the easiest decision you ever make — your career should be about
one thing: passion.
It's not about money or prestige or power or fame. It's about passion. Once you
find your passion everything will come together. Someone once said, "Do what
you love to do for a career, and you'll never work a day in your life" — that's
passion. Find your hobby and see if you can get paid for it.
When it comes to your personal life, it's all about priorities. It's not just about fun.
It's as simple as that. Arrange your priorities in the correct manner and fun will
present itself with little, or no, effort. But it's got to be the right kind of fun, and it's
got to come in the right places.
The things that truly matter are: Faith, family, friends, food and fun. Once you've
mastered the first four — in order — the fun will have already happened. You
don't need to go looking for it.
Go out and make a difference. Befriend the underdog. Laugh a lot. Make others
laugh a lot. Visit a nursing home. Make them laugh a lot. Hug your parents long
and hard. Hug them so long that they're the ones who let go first. Hug your favorite
teacher. Thank him or her. If you don't appreciate them today, I promise you that
you will soon. Hug the teacher you liked least, too. They probably worked just as
hard; you just don't appreciate that yet.
Take care of your teeth. Walk a lot. Drink milk. Don't hate. Stay in touch with your
friends. Make new friends. Share a meal with your friends. Travel. Eat French
fries. Be nice. Be bold. Behave. Spend time with your grandparents. Love your
neighbor. Love your neighbor's neighbor. Love your neighbor's grandparents.

Don’t go broke trying to look rich. And don’t waste time worrying about the doors
that have closed behind you. The only person you should ever compare yourself to
is yesterdays you.
Make mistakes. Then don't sweat the mistakes you've made. Learn from your
mistakes. Go out and make more mistakes, you'll get it right eventually. Forgive
others for their mistakes. That whole "do unto others" thing is great advice. Floss
every day. Don't be so hard on yourself. Don't be so hard on others. Just make it a
general rule not to be hard.
Volunteer where you feel led. Don't just "give back" (to "give back" you must have
received something first) just give, and then give some more.
Don't forget the laughing thing. Don't forget the hugging thing either. Don't forget
any of it. Focus on faith, family, friends, food, and fun. Find your passion. Make
that your career. Then go be passionate and have fun.
Congratulations and good luck, Robert

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