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Brett Alan’s Advice to the Graduating Class of 2012

Graduating students
Mario Tama, Getty Images

It’s that time of year again, when proms are happening and grad parties are being planned.  A whole new group of young adults is about to leave the classes that they’ve become accustomed to over the last four years and either enter the workforce or move on to higher educational institutions.  Last week, I was honored to be asked to come back to my former high school, Springville Griffith Institute, and speak to the seniors.  This is the advice that I had for them.

Granted, this advice is based on my personal experience over the years, and their lives and circumstances may be different than mine.  However, these are the things that I learned after I left high school, and I thought I’d share my list with them.

  1. Money is NOT everything.  Enjoying your life is what really counts.
  2. If you want something, go and get it.  Don’t wait for it to come to you.  You might find that you’re waiting a whole long longer than you have to.
  3. Promisory notes and credit cards don’t go away by themselves.  They really do want you to pay back all that money that you’re borrowing from them.
  4. Stay away from Ramen noodles.  They’re delicious!  But there’s nothing about them that’s good for you.
  5. If you can make it happen, live on campus.  Some of the things you will learn there are much more valuable than what you will learn in the classroom.
  6. There are plenty of people who are very successful in this world despite the fact that they didn’t go to college.  However, most of them didn’t get where they are by wishing they could be there.  They worked hard to get there.
  7. Work hard.  Eventually someone will see it, and it WILL pay off.
  8. If you visit the hometown of the guy in your dorm that is bragging about how great he was back in high school, chances are, he wasn’t as good as he wants you to believe he was.
  9. You might have better single moments in your life.  You may have kids, you may get married, you might get a great job.  But these times that you’re having with your friends will be what you look back at as the good old days.
  10. Be persistent.  Make people remember your name.

Whatever you do, remember to live your life the way that you want to live it.  Just make sure that at the end of the day, when you lay your head on your pillow, that you can say that you are proud of what you have done.

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