I didn’t think I’d have anything much to say on this subject, but after thinking about it for a little while, I do have a few pieces of (hopefully) wisdom for my recently-graduated friends. I’m aware that, in spite of my junior status, I’ve only been away from home for a year, so I don’t know much of anything just yet, but here is what I’ve learned from the trial-and-error of that year.
1. Make good friends before making drastic life decisions. It’s important to have people in your life who know you well enough to tell you when you’re being an idiot. Never underestimate the value of a friend’s well-founded opinion.
2. Take the hard classes. Seriously, don’t bother with the easy ones. They aren’t worth your time, because you won’t learn anything, and at the end you’ll just wonder why you wasted the opportunity truly to learn something. And there’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment you’ll have when you’ve finished something challenging. Trust me, most of the time, your social life and mental health can take the extra strain. Take a chance and find out what you’re capable of. You’ll probably be surprised.
3. When you find yourself disliking someone, befriend them. I realized recently that most of my friendships have come about because I disliked the person when first meeting him or her, and decided to combat that by being nice. I think it’s because I only instantly resent a person if I feel like I could be jealous of them, and I hate that feeling, so I make friends with them in order to prevent the jealousy from ever taking root (because I don’t typically have that problem with people I know well). So maybe this one is just me, but personally I think it’s an awesome strategy. They usually turn out to be the best friendships, and you don’t have to deal with a bunch of people you don’t like. Love as many people as you can, as well as you can.
4. Trust God and work hard. I don’t think much explanation is needed here. Do everything in your power to succeed, but when things are out of your control, that’s okay. You were never really in charge anyway.
Congratulations, class of 2010!