High school graduation season is upon us and while it’s truly an exciting event in a young person’s life, it’s also a time for reflection. We all learned things in high school that we still embrace today, and it’s important to share those reflections with the new graduates.
Here are 10 lessons, most of us learned in high school, that have and always will stick with us
- Pack your lunch. Sure, there were a few days when the cafeteria food (pizza day) trumped a homemade sandwich (pb&j); however it was a rare day if you even remembered it by the end of the school day. Packing your lunch in the morning taught you lessons in money management, that sacrifices are never long felt, and that people will always be envious of your Little Debbie snack cakes (even in the office break room when you are all grown up).
- A good parking spot can make your day. If you are not a morning person, something as small as losing out on a good parking spot can start your day off on the wrong foot. This is a simple lesson with a deep meaning; if you get up a few minutes earlier and get the good parking spot, you have already achieved success. This lesson is also known as: the early bird gets the worm.
- A key element of success is organization. Did you have a clean or messy locker? Was your book bag neat and orderly or were papers crammed in from every directions? If you are organized, you don’t have to waste precious time tracking down the materials you need for the task at hand. This is lesson that will always be with you.
- Remember your acquaintances. Friends, mentors, and lunch buddies will float in and out of your life; however it’s usually the acquaintances you think about when you say “I know a guy”. This generation is luckier than those of us in past generations; social media can reconnect people that haven’t spoken to each other in years (except for accepting the Facebook friend request). Suddenly, with your army of Facebook friends, you know a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker!
- Don’t pick your nose in public. Duh! Seems like a lesson you learned in elementary school, right? Maybe not. The lesson is bigger than just nose picking; it’s about presenting a clean sharp image without pulling the little string that will unravel a sweater. Always check your image before you arrive at your destination; because if you don’t check out your image, how will you know if your nose is clean?
- No matter what side you believe in, be loyal. This is a broad lesson to learn as it can include sporting teams, politics, religion, or even a specific philosophy. Over your lifetime, there is a good chance that your loyalties will change, grow, and expand. Never fake or hide your loyalties; if you do, you are only lying to yourself.
- Respect isn’t free, and sometimes it’s priceless. Your teachers may have remembered your genius older brother, but that doesn’t mean they automatically induct you in the Beta club. Respect is an emotion based on actions. When you work hard, show effort, and complete tasks, respect will be yours; however since respect is an emotion, there is a human factor to this equation. Some people are more generous with their feelings of respect while others only award it to a select few. Respect those who have earned it in your eyes and strive to do your best.
- There are some things you parents can’t help you with. As you grow and learn from your mistakes, you will also learn that there are always consequences. Mom and dad will stand beside you, but some situations you will have to handle on your own. It won’t be easy or fun, but these are the building blocks that will mold you into a fine young lady or gentleman.
- Have a backup plan. It’s hard to truly grasp the concept of a backup plan when things you accomplish come relatively easy to you. You plan, you organize and you work hard; then your projects have always received good marks. What happens when something goes wrong? Did your paperwork get lost? Did your hard drive crash? Did you drop and break a part of your presentation materials? Planning ahead includes planning for “worst case scenarios”.
- Social media can be a friend or foe. The youth of today do not know a life without Facebook, twitter, or Instagram. These modern day media outlets has trained kids to share just about everything with just about everyone. Long gone are the days of having a little mystery in your life. While there are plenty of positive aspects of social media, there are just as many negative qualities. It’s all great when you post about an A on your exam; however when you post about your life lesson learned when you plagiarized on your report; it’s there for your teachers, college recruiters, and future employers to see. The same holds true for those unfortunate party fouls. Be bold and keep your social media clear of your bad choices.
Congrats to all the graduates out there! The class of 2015 is ready to spread their wings. Congrats also to the parents and families that help the graduates get to this milestone. As they begin to spread their wings, you can sit back and chuckle a little; because you know that before they soar, those little wings will have to “flap like crap”.