As the school year is coming to a close, I keep mentally preparing speeches for my seniors as they enter the world as "adults." I keep thinking of things like "How to be a successful adult." Here are some of the things I've come up:
1. Life is not a dress rehearsal. The sooner you can figure this out the sooner you will start taking responsibility for your own path in life. A wise professional once told me "the secret to my success as a young person was I took advantage of every moment early in my career. I showed up to EVERYTHING and was always early and stayed late to shake hands with the people I needed to help me grow." We only have 24 hours in a day use them wisely and efficiently.
2. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Forgive and love yourself to learn how to embrace your failures.
3. Let people influence you, but make your own decisions. When you let people influence you it means you are hearing what they say, HOWEVER, this does not mean you have to adopt their ideas or dogma. Know the distinction. Perhaps another way to say this is: never be a walking closed book that only talks and never listens- unless of course you want to be someone that nobody listens to.
4. Make friends with people much older and wiser than you. One of the rules of the world goes something like this "if you are nice to people they will be nice to you." People who have more life experience than you have knowledge, connections, and foresight that can only help you. Don't be stupid and ignore their wisdom. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Get over thinking you know everything about the world.
5. Take Calculated Risks. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." When approaching a potentially new exciting possibility or life choice explore all options, the good, the bad, the ugly. Weigh the costs and benefits against each other and determine what you are willing to put on the line for the good. Once you decide what to do go in strong, but ALWAYS have a back up plan in the event it doesn't work out.
6. Take Responsibility for your Actions. Say "I'm sorry," or "I messed up," or "that was my fault," etc when you truly and royally screwed something up and mean it. Don't make excuses, and live up to your actions like a responsible adult. Life is not a dress rehearsal.
These are at least some of things that have been on my mind when forming a list for my kiddos. Most likely I will not really give them a speech, but I find natural snippets of these thoughts come out in my daily interactions with them.
"Oh you want to pass the class by suddenly turning in all your late work? You know I don't take late work. Now tell me, how do you find yourself in this situation?"
"You know, when you say things like "Im a horrible, mean teacher" and are rude to me and the other teachers, it makes us not want to help you out in the future which will limit your options for getting good letters of recommendation or even getting extra help on your college applications. Think about the way you treat people."
Anyway, I'm curious to hear what other tips people have for graduating seniors before they go off into their young adult lives. Leave a comment :)