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Dear Graduate - 2024 Edition

Congratulations to Class of 2024. You did it!

By Stephen LeglerPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
Dear Graduate - 2024 Edition
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Do You Need a Graduation Gift Idea?

If you are a parent, relative, or friend looking for a special graduation gift, or if you are a graduate that wants to gift yourself to change your future outlook, I encourage you to read my previous article, A Different Graduation Gift.

Dear Graduate

Congratulations! You did it. Whether you have graduated from high school, completed your college degree, or just finished your master's program, you have achieved something remarkable and deserve to be celebrated.

Although negative news constantly floods us, fill yourself with a sense of pride and optimism for what the future holds. The world today differs greatly from just four years ago. The one thing to remember is change is constant and your ability to adapt and adjust will help shape and influence a better future.

Majority of us recognize you are facing a unique set of anxieties and pressures that past generations did not have to deal with. From job market uncertainty, financial stress, mental health, technological disruption, social expectations, global issues, digital overload, and equity and inclusion are just a few.

Do not get discouraged.

Keep your head up, aim for the stars, and dream big. As you move forward, take the lessons you have learned, the friendships you made, and the memories you experienced. And always remember:

If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough. - Unknown

Stay curious and never stop learning. Your ambition, your desire to learn, and your ability to take measured risks should be your guide in a lifelong pursuit of continuous education. Here are a few tips to encourage you:

  • Embrace Change—Change is the one constant, and you should embrace it. The truly successful people in the world can see change coming and know how to take advantage of it while others complain or stand frozen.
  • Pursue Passion—Life is short and unpredictable. Pursue your passions while maintaining the ability to support yourself. The worst thing you can do is to embrace a lifelong journey of misery or being stuck in a deadend job.
  • Stay Curious—Ask "why" a million times throughout your life and be willing to challenge the norms. If something makes little sense to you, question it even if you must challenge authority.
  • Build Resilience—There will be times when you fail. You may even fail often. Do not let that discourage you. Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Embrace failure and pivot.
  • Cultivate Meaningful Relationships—Do not waste your time with people that do not bring value to you and you cannot bring value to them. Embrace your family and friends and make sure you take time to encourage and build up one another. And remember, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with," attributed to Jim Rohn.
  • Be Generous—If you want to have a happy life, make it a life of generosity. Poet and critic John Holmes shared, "There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up." This is not just a theory any more (Puff, 2021).
  • Take Measured Risks—Get out of your comfort zone and take risks. Measured risks. Know the difference between being foolish and having the confidence to try something untested. Jeff Bezos is known for encouraging his teams to take on risk and embracing failures, "We need big failures if we're going to move the needle" (Scipioni, 2021).
  • Find Balance—From this day forward, you will find yourself pulled in a thousand directions. You will have many responsibilities between work, family, friends, hobbies, trainings, health and exercise, etc. You cannot make everyone happy and get everything completed. Remember to "Respect your body when it's asking for a break. Respect your mind when it's seeking rest. Honor yourself when you need a moment for yourself" (Murphy, 2023).
  • Set Big Goals—Whether it is for your job, your career, or for personal reasons, set big goals. Think 5, 10, and 20 years out from today. Where do you want to be? Then put a plan together. "Whatever your goals are, don't give up no matter how hard it gets," Jeff Bezos (Scipioni, 2021).
  • Stay Positive—Always keep your head up and stay grounded in your purpose. If you have not found your purpose, spend the necessary time to identify the things that are important to you and reflect on the things that matter most to you. Then, identify your talents and strengths that will help you achieve these things.

I wish you nothing but success. The future is bright. Again, I want to congratulate you. Always remember that you are valued, and the world is a better place because you are in it. One last thing before I forget...

Begin Preparing For Your Retirement

It is never too early to save and invest in your retirement. Every year delayed results in 100s of thousands of dollars lost. I encourage you to open a brokerage account, begin adding money, and invest in a total market index fund. Even if it is $20 a month. Start the habit now and increase it as your life adapts.

I encourage you to spend an extra 7 minutes to read my article, Social Security: Avoid falling for a false retirement plan, and 5 minutes to read, A Different Graduation Gift.

Thank You

If you find this piece interesting or helpful, please consider leaving a heart, a comment, or even a tip. Your support means a lot to me as a hobbyist writer. Plus, it helps with the algorithms.

References

Murphy, I. (2023, December 12). 22 positive Lori Deschene quotes from the founder of Tiny Buddha. Kidadl. https://kidadl.com/facts/quotes/positive-lori-deschene-quotes-from-the-author-of-tiny-buddha

toPuff, R., PhD. (2021, November 7). The link between generosity and happiness is no longer just a theory. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/meditation-modern-life/201712/study-shows-generous-behavior-leads-increased-happiness

Scipioni, J. (2021, October 3). Jeff Bezos on learning from failure: ‘Whatever your goals are, don’t give up no matter how hard it gets.’ CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/03/jeff-bezos-on-failure-dont-give-up-no-matter-how-hard-it-gets.html

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About the Creator

Stephen Legler

Aspiring author writing first fiction book. I'm passionate to discuss personal finance, religion, tech & occasionally politics. I enjoy reading other people's work & getting to know folks. I play an excellent extrovert. Happy to meet you!

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