ACROSS LUZERNE County and the country for that matter, another class is graduating high school to the next chapter of life. We offer some simple advice gathered through hard-learned lessons of time.
In other words, this is a parent talking at you.
1. And on that note, consider the advice of those parents and elders. We wished we had listened to ours. They were right more often than wrong. That advice isn’t foolproof or a guarantee against failure. Everyone makes mistakes. But in general we’d prefer you not repeat ours and make your own mistakes.
2 Don’t be foolish. Don’t break laws; the consequences are large and lasting. When you’re of age and you can drink alcohol, don’t drive. Any time at all, don’t text and drive. Don’t consume illegal drugs. If you’re going to have sex, make sure it’s safe and by mutual consent and that you understand the consequences.
3. Don’t be afraid. You’ve made it this far. Heck, you survived high school in the 21st century. So jump into life. Better to try and fail than sit and watch. Take chances; not risks. And when the challenges seems too big, break it down. Inch by inch, life is a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard.
4. If you don’t know the difference between “chance” and “risk,” figure it out. Use a computer. Open a dictionary. Look it up.
5. Ask questions. Even with that diploma, be it from high school or college, you do not know it all, even if you think you do. Curiosity shows you care and it will take you to new places. Never stop learning.
6. Words have power so be careful how you use them. Particularly in text messaging and emails. When you find you’ve written an angry email or text, delete it. If you really are angry, you can write it a second time.
7. Have conversations. Facebook isn’t face time. Nothing replaces the significance, nuance and satisfaction of human interaction. And remember to treat other people as you would like to be treated. There are many reasons they call it a Golden Rule.
8. Be concerned. Plan for the future, anticipate what’s next, show empathy for others.
9. Don’t worry. We worry about too many things that will never happen.
10. Make lists. It will help you accomplish the things that must be accomplished and give you more time to do the things you want to do.
11. Try new things. New food. New routines. New places. New ideas.
12. Drink water. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Read books. Always.
Life is long. You will forever be chasing the next thing. So remember to take time from the chase. Put your phone in a drawer. Breathe.
At the same time, life is short. Before you know it you will be your parents, or something like them. That doesn’t seem possible now or palatable ever but it will happen. So start now. It’s your life. Do something.