Advice to Graduates

Yesterday was the day of the horns.

It was that day of the year when the high school seniors – set free into the world after 12 years of books and tests – go around in their cars and honk the horns and hoot and holler out the window. They went by my window twice, actually. I can’t remember if I did this in 1983. It doesn’t seem like something I would have done but maybe.

Here’s some advice I thought I’d pass along to the graduates.

1. If someone says to you that your high school or college years will be the best of your life, run away from these people as fast as you can. That’s just depressing.

2. Save money. This may seem like a no-brainer, but trust me: having money is a lot better than being broke.

3. Good credit is more important than love. You’ll find love eventually, but if you mess up your credit you’re screwed.

4. If you fail at something, don’t freak out about it. You really do learn as much from your failures as your successes.

5. “I’m really not sure what to do next” is not a reason to go to graduate school. You’re just going there to hide from real life.

6. Don’t be one of those people who constantly talks about their grades, athletic success, or anything else that happened in school. People stop caring about this stuff one hour after you receive your diploma/degree.

7. If you find yourself in jail, act crazy. The others will stay away from you.

8. Your parents are smarter than you think. I know this doesn’t seem true now but it is.

9. Working is usually better than not working. See #2.

10. To high school graduates: when you get to college, you will meet a lot of assholes.

11. To college graduates: Same when you get a job.

12. Read books, of all kinds. Read, read, read, read, read.

13. Move out of your hometown. And if you need/want to stay in your hometown, live some place else first and then come back to it.

14. Sunny weather is fine, but learn how to appreciate the rain.

15. Don’t join social media. If you’re already on it, quit or force yourself to spend less time on it. Nothing good ever happens on Twitter.

16. It’s amazing what a simple “thank you” or “I’m sorry” can do. For the person you say it to and yourself.

17. Don’t envy anyone. It’s a waste of time. (I’m still learning this one.)

18. Put your phone down.

19. Shemp is just as funny as Curly. Don’t let anyone tell you he isn’t.

20. “But I was drunk!” is never a good excuse.