Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


June 1, 2014

Advice to the graduates

It’s graduation time, and since I have a column I get to offer the grads advice. Here’s my top 10:

10. Learn a skill. Don’t just get a degree/diploma and think “I’ll hire someone to do the other stuff.” Learn to cook, clean, do minor carpentry, basic car maintenance and yard work, enough to do it yourself or at least know when it’s done right.

9. Never be too proud to apologize when you’re wrong, or thank people when they’ve helped you.

8. Put your phone away when you’re visiting with people, especially if it’s “just” dinner or lunch with your family or friends. Talk to them, listen to them. Don’t waste those opportunities in favor of staring at a four-inch screen filled with lame chatter from your other friends. That’s not life. What’s in front of you and around you is life.

7. Don’t burn your bridges. Yeah, you’re blowing the dust of this little burg off, blah blah blah. We all said that. But Navarro County has its advantages and you might want to come back, even if it’s just for a break from the big bad world. Make sure your mama isn’t the only one happy to see you again.

6. If you’ve been fortunate enough to get a college scholarship, treat it like a gift from God that can be taken away from you. Because it can. And if you goof around and lose it, you’re closing the door on an amazing opportunity. In other words, if you act stupid in the next four years, you’ll pay for it much, much longer.

5. Yes, you’re a special snowflake, unique and beautiful in your own way, but that doesn’t mean the world owes you anything. Be willing to work for what you want, or be prepared to not receive it.

4. Cliché or not, illegal drugs, booze and cigarettes are dumb. They’re expensive and can literally take away your future. Don’t even go there until you’re mature enough to handle the consequences, say, when you’re 90.

3. Don’t automatically salt your food. Try it first. Sometimes other people know what they’re doing.

2. Stand on your own two feet. Your parents/teachers/friends have been awesome, but it’s time to be an adult now. Take responsibility for your own choices.

1. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Quite often, taking a chance is when things get really fun and interesting.


Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at

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