Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

May 25, 2013

Advice to the graduates

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

— It’s graduation time, which means I’m once again offering up some unsolicited advice to the grads.

1. The end of school doesn’t mean the learning stops. In my case, it increased when I got out of school. Work hard, don’t be too proud to accept help, and be prepared to laugh at yourself sometimes. Trust me, in 25 years the mistakes you make now will (probably) be funny.

2. Even when money gets tight save back $10. That’s a load of laundry and some Ramen noodles or a small jar of peanut butter. Everything looks better if you’ve eaten and don’t stink.

3. All your friends are on the Internet. Your life is not. Pull your eyes off that electronic device and look around.

4. The wonderful thing about coming from a small town is that it creates a kind of extended family situation when you leave. You’d be surprised at how welcoming it can be to find someone from Navarro County in New York or even Dallas.

5. You’re smart, but don’t rely solely on your achievements in calculus or English to help you succeed. Learn a skill, whether it’s building websites or mowing lawns. You’ll never regret having more options.

6. If you’re working part-time and going to school, you still have plenty of time. Choose a charity and volunteer just a couple of hours a week. It’s a lifelong habit that you will never, ever regret.

7. About 5 percent of Americans have a second job. There’s nothing wrong with working two gigs, just be sure your bosses agree.

8. Despite what you think, you don’t actually HAVE to have WiFi. You can survive without it.

9. Same goes for all 300 cable/satellite TV channels; an iPad or tablet; the latest, greatest cell phone; the hottest fashions; the smoothest car and the trendiest friends. Don’t let society’s demands rule you.

10. Right now, you’re Luke Skywalker but you want to be Han Solo. Everybody wants to be Han Solo, but we still need Luke to get the job done.

11. Keep an open mind to new ideas, but don’t let every one of them take up residence. Unless it’s a serious relationship, weekend guests are better than squatters.

12. Remember to call your parents and grandparents on the phone, and use a landline so they can understand you.

13. Despite evidence to the contrary thus far, it’s not all about you. Humility, modesty and a sense of humor will carry you a lot farther than arrogance and attitude.

14. The center of the universe is where your priorities are. It doesn’t matter where you are physically.

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Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Corsicana Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached by email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” on this column? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com