GUIZERIX: Things I wish somebody told me at graduation

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2023

With our local graduations ramping up this week and my alma mater, Ole Miss, hosting commencement this past weekend, graduation has been on my mind.

It’s hard to believe 10 years have passed since my own high school graduation (don’t do the math on that — I’m still a youngin’). But in those 10 years, I’ve grown a tremendous amount and learned some hard truths.

So many times, I’ve sat down and thought to myself, “Why did no one warn me about this?” or “How did I not know this would happen?” So, I decided to write down some advice for graduates I wish I’d known when I was in their shoes.

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To start, a big one: You really will never see some of your high school classmates again. That’s not a bad thing.

As someone who never quite fit in (for example, my Friday nights were spent at home watching “Andy Griffith” reruns and doing homework while my peers were getting into trouble), the thought of not being around my classmates wasn’t exactly heartbreaking. Getting out of my small town, even for just a few years, was healthy and gave me the opportunity to grow and mature with a set of new peers.

Once you’re in college, if you take that path: Make learning your full-time job.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to party and fraternize later on. Trust me — sign up for the extra opportunities your professors offer, take the trips and apply to internships in your field of study. You won’t regret it, and guess what: The older you get, the cooler the parties are.

Another pro tip for success: Don’t get a dog.

Don’t do it. I don’t care how fuzzy he is or how pitiful his little eyes are, you won’t have time to devote to training a pet — and no one wants to leave their precious pup locked in a kennel all day while you’re in classes.

Something I’m still learning: Practice time management.

You will be involved in extra-curricular activities, have a full courseload and need to take care of yourself, too. The balance between work, self-care and personal growth opportunities is a difficult nut to crack, but there’s no better time than your college years to lay a good foundation.

Finally, enjoy it while it lasts.

Walking across the stage and graduating from high school is a big deal in your small world. You won’t be in college forever, and all too soon you’ll enter the world of paying bills, employment and grownup choices. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or take (calculated) risks.

And above all else, be kind to yourself. You are your own worst critic — I promise, no one else cares as much as you think they do.