It's the official start of your real life as adults.
Posted in , Jun 2, 2015
Editor's Note: This advice was originally written for the Class of 2015, but it applies to every graduating class, no matter what the year.
Graduations are taking place at colleges and high schools across the country. Students clad in caps and gowns are giddy with relief that their school days are behind them, that those evil exams and term papers are a thing of the past.
The stirring music of Pomp and Circumstance fills the air as students march down the aisles to their seats. Parents and grandparents lean forward looking for their loved ones in the group.
Flashes from numerous cameras are evident throughout the building as students step forward to receive their diplomas.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
Pride is stamped on the faces of moms and dads as they wipe tears from their eyes. How had this moment happened so quickly? Wasn't it just yesterday that they had rocked their babies to sleep and read them a bedtime story?
Caps are flung and whoops of joy erupt as the Class of 2015 (or whatever year) is announced.
And then it's over...or is it?
The truth is that for those new graduates, something important has just occurred: It's the official start to their real lives as adults. I hope they won't mind if an old grandma gal shares some of the things she's learned along the way of that "real life."
So here's my Top 20 best advice for the Class of 2015:
1) Travel through life with God as your guide. He won't steer you wrong.
2) Don't forget to thank your parents.
3) Put family first. It's what's truly important, and someday you'll discover that true wealth lies in the moments spent with family and friends.
4) Work hard. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it will save you some gray hairs and wrinkles along the way.
5) Work hard, but don't forget to play. All work and no play truly does make for dullness.
6) Life is short. Make it count. Determine that when you reach the end of it, you'll look back with sweet memories instead of regrets.
7) Do for others. That warm feeling in your heart will be worth every minute.
8) Hard times will come, but God will be enough for whatever you face.
9) Focus on your blessings instead of your hardships. (You don't usually have to look far to discover someone who'd love to have your life.)
10) Learn to listen. Others have already encountered the hard knocks of life. They can save you from many of those if you'll let them.
11) Learn from your mistakes. We all make them.
12) Look at perceived failures as stepping-stones. You'll often discover that those moments were good things instead of bad ones.
13) Live within your means. It took your parents many years to get what they have. Don't expect to start out that way.
14) Determine that you're going to make a difference in the world. God can use the lives of folks like that.
15) Time is one of your most precious commodities. Spend it wisely.
16) Understand that your plans might change over the years.
17) Follow God's dreams for your life. You'll discover they're often bigger and better than your own dreams.
18) Stay in church.
19) Carry your faith to the next generation.
20) Leave a legacy behind.
Congratulations to all of you graduates! Your hard work has paid off and we are proud of you.
Thank you to all the moms, dads and grandparents who have invested their hearts, lives and wallets into these young men and young women. It was worth it.
Class of 2015, go out and change your world! Our prayers and love go with you.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)