As I sat and watched my little brother graduate from high school, I couldn’t help but laugh at my own life and how it has gone since I crossed that stage. For some odd reason I always used my brother’s graduation as a marker for what my life would be like on that day. Possibly married and maybe a kid on the way, or maybe just engaged. I thought I would be working in sports broadcasting with some cool job down town and maybe even living Atlanta too. If only I had known how wrong I would be. If you told me I would be a special ed teacher I would have laughed in your face; and I am no where near marriage or kids and that’s ok. Losing my Dad to Leukemia only 4 months before my brother’s graduation definitely wasn’t part of the plan. I wish I could give my brother all the wisdom I have acquired so he makes the most of the next four years, but I know as any 18 year old boy he won’t listen to his big sister’s advice, so I will write it here where he can access it any time he finds himself needing to remember what I told him. So here’s to you Class of 2014.
Enjoy the next four (or five) years of your lives. They will pass all too quickly and you will miss the bubble that is college all to much. Join a student group. It doesn’t matter which one, but join one. You will need a support system. Call your mother frequently and answer her text. Text her twice on days when something horrific is in the news. She will visualize it happening to you. She will worry about you. This will never go away so embrace this side of your mother. Don’t buy your text books before the semester starts, wait till you need them, then rent. This is your first experience of how expensive the world is and how much of a rip off things are. Don’t get a pet. Get experience in a field you are interested in. Learn to network and network well. This is how you will get your first job. Have good character. Don’t sleep around and educate yourself on birth control. I’m too pretty to be an aunt just yet. Clean your apartment, it will win you bonus points with girls. Watch what you eat and stay active. Have fun but don’t drink to much. Look out for the one who does. Get to know your professors. They have a lot to offer, well some of them do any ways. You will have a crazy professor. Learn to work with them as you will most likely have a boss just like them one day. Don’t buy the full meal plan. Join inter murals. Go to sporting events. Study abroad regardless of the cost. It will be worth every penny. Internship. Call your mother. Don’t chase a paycheck. Find a group that will do other things for fun outside of bars and parties. Go hiking or just have a game night. Study. Don’t get a credit card. Clean your bathroom. Don’t hold to tightly to your plan for life. Go to church. You will learn to hate group projects. Save your money. Make new friends. Don’t judge others. Volunteer your time some where. Don’t sleep away to many weekends. You will be judged based on a resume, make sure you do something to make it look good. You are guarantied nothing. Don’t resent those whose parents pay the way for them. You will be better off later on. Call your mother. Enjoy the next few years, you will miss them when they are gone. Don’t rush to get a dream job right out of school. Most don’t.
There’s no telling what my life will look like when you graduate college, but I do know I will be just as proud to be your sister then, as I am now.