To the Class of 2013

  1. Take notes. Whether it’s a cool Moleskine journal or a plain old spiral notebook, keep it close by to jot down things you may want to recall later. Your brain has more available memory space than mine, but not everything sticks.
  2. Know the difference between personal and business. When your boss invites the crew out for drinks, she’s still your boss. Beware of workplace romances: I’ve seen happy endings but I have also seen people get hurt badly.
  3. Keep a toothbrush nearby. At some point you’re going to spend the night at someone else’s place and not have time to stop by home before work.
  4. Consider which risks are worth taking. Skiing, sure. Skydiving, no way. Swimming in a body of water called Gator Lake, not a good idea.
  5. Travel. You have friends and acquaintances all over the place. And you have time. Go.
  6. Think about your entire life. Not just whether you want to get married and have kids or what kind of work you’ll do, but what kind of person you want to be at 40, 50, 60, 70.
  7. Don’t tread water. Keep swimming ahead. The temptation is great to coast when you can, but you need to keep pedaling everyday.
  8. Don’t join the alumni association. Wear your school t-shirt, cheer for your team, but you’ll be better able to give back to your school after you’ve paid off your student loans.
  9. Be aware of the immense power of peer pressure. When your friends get married, get tattoos, go vegan, etc., you may want follow suit. But don’t do it just because they’re doing it.
  10. Don’t put up needless barriers. You may want to hang out mainly with people who are like you. But you’ll meet some “different” people along the way who can be interesting parts of your universe. Appreciate what they have to offer.
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