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Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate 
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Post Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Yo, fellas.

So I'm speaking at a high school commencement pretty soon here. My thoughts are mostly that I don't think anyone remembers who spoke at their commencement, but alas, the task has fallen to me.

My question, which sounds cheesy but I don't intend it that way: what advice do you wish you got at that stage? Any quotes or nuggets of advice you'd pass along? I'm not asking for anyone to write my speech for me (it's mostly complete at this stage), but I'm genuinely interested, given the variety of backgrounds here, what you'd share if given the opportunity. Feel free to discourse.


Thu May 02, 2013 2:46 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
If you have no idea what the fuck you're supposed to do next, don't feel too bad.

Seriously, it might take you upwards of another 10 years before you have a good idea of where your life is headed. Until then, it may very well be a clusterfuck of indecision, false starts, and abandoning one approach for the next. Despite the propaganda, life doesn't happen according to a strict schedule and nobody figures it out at exactly the same time.

Uh, you might need to clean that up a little.

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Thu May 02, 2013 3:31 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
I'll echo Ken here. Also -

1. Don't let other people's bitterness and "can't do" attitude infect you

2. Losing a job isn't the end of the world. If it's a shit job then it's a good thing in the long run.

3. Ultimately you answer to yourself.

Corny I know, but all true.

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Thu May 02, 2013 4:15 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Ken wrote:
If you have no idea what the fuck you're supposed to do next, don't feel too bad.

Seriously, it might take you upwards of another 10 years before you have a good idea of where your life is headed. Until then, it may very well be a clusterfuck of indecision, false starts, and abandoning one approach for the next. Despite the propaganda, life doesn't happen according to a strict schedule and nobody figures it out at exactly the same time.

Uh, you might need to clean that up a little.

That's good to know, i'm in my fourth year of college right now and I still haven't decided on my major yet, right now i'm almost done with one class, i'm doing fairly well in it, but i've ultimately realized that it's not something i'm capable of doing for a living.


Thu May 02, 2013 4:18 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Life is lived forward and is not reliably predictable. With that in mind, embrace the unknown with excitement and determination. Do not hide from or ignore the future. Determine to accept it and strive to change it if desired, but do not dread or lament it. Choose freedom over fear.

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today." - Will Rogers


Thu May 02, 2013 9:14 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Ken pretty much stole my thunder here. Right when I saw the topic title, I knew what to say, but Ken summed it up perfectly.

The best thing is to realize that people learn and grow at different paces. Just because one person appears to have things all figured out right now doesn't necessarily mean they do. Fast forward 2 or 3 years and see if that holds up. I just watched BEFORE SUNRISE for the first time today and there's a line from Julie Delpy that sticks out to me. Something like "Why are we so afraid of conflict? A lot of good things can come out of it."

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Thu May 02, 2013 1:58 pm
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Don't move into an apartment with someone you don't know very well. I moved in with a friend of a friend that I vaguely new and it was living hell. He was an emotionally abusive alcoholic who terrorized me for three months. When I had to move out for my own sanity, he sued me for back rent (but lost because of all the shit he pulled). It's been five years and I still suffer from PTSD. And now that I travel around the country with my rugby team, I'm scared that I'm going to run into him.


Thu May 02, 2013 10:38 pm
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Accountability: learn the meaning of this word, then apply it to your life.

No one is expecting you to conquer the world right out of high school, but demonstrating that you can and will take responsibility for yourself should go a long ways toward increasing your stock in the eyes of others.

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Fri May 03, 2013 12:57 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
You will likely be encouraged to jump into college the minute you are finsihed with high school. For certain people, this is very good advice. For others, not so. People talk about "protracted drifting" as if it were a bad thing. I don't think it is. There's nothing wrong with taking time to find yourself.

In high school you likely spent a lot of time either as part of the popular crowd or wanting to be part of the popular crowd. Once you get out of here though, you are not going to be judged on whether or not you are part of a crowd. You are going to be judged on your actions as an individual. A good majority of people in a typical high school graduating class are likely to go on to be sucessful lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs or some kind of professional. The other half are likely to end up as insurance salesmen or real estate agents. It's how you act as an individual that determines which side you end up on.

According to a book I read not too long ago, it was pointed out that many people do not reach their full potential in their 20s or even their 30s. For many it's in their 40s or 50s when they do that. Just something to keep in mind.

And remember. Politics can often be disgusting and depressing. But if you're not turned on to politics, politics can turn on you.

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Mon May 06, 2013 12:14 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Every year or two you'll look back on yourself, your ideas and your pursuit-of-the-day and say "Man, I was an idiot back then!!" Consider that in the context of the stand you choose to take today and determine if it is what you truly believe in or if you are simply two years away from being your own idiot.

Also, learn to give of yourself. Not spare change, but real contributions. Help build and improve the community in which you live. When you hear people say "I hate this place"; they've given that place their worst. Their bed is a mess and now they have to sleep in it or find a new bed. People who've truly give of themselves to make things better in their city or town, find themselves enjoying life wherever they are, and that joy is reciprocated.

-Also, when you and your spouse buy a home together, buy a place you can afford on the lower of your two incomes.
(best financial advice I EVER got!!)

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Mon May 06, 2013 4:01 pm
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Right now you have the best potential to be in the best shape of your life. If you're not in shape, get in shape and stay active. Every pound you put on in your 20's takes twice the effort to get rid of in your 30's and three times the effort in your 40's.


Tue May 07, 2013 10:28 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
You could always plagiarize the Mary Schmich essay that Baz Luhrman turned into a music video and radio cut.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/colu ... 576.column


Tue May 07, 2013 11:15 am
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
College is the best time of your life...seriously. No other time in your life will you be able to party as much as you want, wake up at 1:00 pm, go to class for a couple of hours, and then drink all night again. Meet as many people as possible, travel as much as possible, and don't take anything for granted. It's not about how hard you work, it's about who you get to know...and lastly, never pass up a good slam session. One day, you will look back and regret that you didn't at least try to take that 9 home.


Sun May 12, 2013 11:54 pm
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
College is the best time of your life...seriously. No other time in your life will you be able to party as much as you want, wake up at 1:00 pm, go to class for a couple of hours, and then drink all night again. Meet as many people as possible, travel as much as possible, and don't take anything for granted. It's not about how hard you work, it's about who you get to know...and lastly, never pass up a good slam session. One day, you will look back and regret that you didn't at least try to take that 9 home.


There you go Shade, just don't say any of that and you'll be set.

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Mon May 13, 2013 12:21 pm
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Post Re: Advice You Would Have Liked as a High School Graduate
Shade...how did it go?

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Thu May 30, 2013 11:30 am
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