Maine school graduations, now what?
The square hats thrown in the air, the gowns used once and tucked away in closets. Ready or now, here he and she goes out into the wild blue yonder. What you need to not just survive life but to benefit those around you. Making a difference in a million small ways. Having some fun along the way. What advice for new graduates of Maine high school and area colleges could you provide anyone who would listen?
Keep your eyes and ears open. Look down and see the path you are on is well beaten or scarcely used. Make decisions considering the consequences. Don’t take yourself too seriously but know you can be part of something beautiful if you stick with it. My Dad’s University of Maine commencement speaker told his college crowd of graduates congratulations and I hope you know adversity early on in life to benefit from it. Charmed lives, no set backs is not what to expect if you truly wish to stretch and grow. Learning takes a lifetime right?
Attitude is everything in life.
Your outlook can be Eeyore or optimistic. Staying happy, content, focused won’t be popular with everyone around you though. As soon as you start meeting your own needs, there will be those who don’t like it. Relationships, are they toxic, encouraging and does the signal go both ways for mutual benefit. You are in it for the long term right? Patience is a virtue. Living in a small Maine town has you better prepared than most rural graduates realize. Be proud of your roots and the skill set you developed because of small Maine town living.
I think back on lessons learned from my parents. Dad reminding the four boys to get your sleep, hang loose and don’t get shook up. Mom, easy does it and moderation rules the day. Stick with it, read, learn, stay the course. Growing up on a Maine farm and staying on that patch of family dirt takes fortitude, creativity, focus and plan “B”, “C” to quickly shift gears the plan for the day ahead suddenly changes. Roll with the punches. Rise to the occasion. Be your best. It is all about others. Your best teachers growing up where your hardest. That knew you could do better and challenged you to reach deeper, search harder and produce a higher quality output.
Changing the world, volunteering and making ends meet to live a little below your means.
To save that nest egg and expect bumps, dips in the road ahead. See and expect the curves life will throw at you right? Are you better at giving advice than taking it though? Like dieting, what you need to do long term is loaded with high calorie and carb temptations. Peer pressure, that refrigerator calling your name during movie commercial breaks. Just one more piece and I’ll work it off tomorrow. Fibbing, rationalizing to ourselves is taking place on a large scale. Be true to thyself.
The village in small town Maine is a big part of the education outside the high school or college institution hallways. The education is all around you to feast on if you make the time to look for it. Make the most of what you have rather than always wanting something you don’t. Don’t grade people or put them in bins of good or bad or somewhere inbetween.
You learn a lot about the person dishing out the advice to Maine school graduates.
Sometimes it is a politician using the opportunity to well wish and provide words of wisdom but also to advance an agenda. Don’t turn cynic, but look for red flags and the spin. But no one wants to be “sold” anything. Sincere how can I help you without the cameras or credit. The rich snippets of how to live live, ways to improve it are gleaned in the private moments with someone who has logged a few more sunrises and sunsets. Tap into that resource around you of well traveled and seasoned individuals and you can save yourself needless missteps. Or to know you are on the right course after all when doubt floods the gray matter behind the eyes and between the ears.
If it is easy, where’s the reward in that?
Ditch the entitlement, the it has to be entertaining and thinking everything is going to be fun and games. A feeling of satisfaction from a job well done. Not just once but for the rest of your life when you set your mind to be the best. Ego, turn down the volume but reason it is part of what drives you good and bad. Folks that are better at something than you. Don’t hate them, embrace them and learn all your can. The education is just beginning and not stopping when you move the gold or white or whatever color tassel from one side to the other from the square hat you perch on your noggin for a temporary lid.
Don’t expect easy but it does not have to be made harder than it really is.
But it will be if you fight it, don’t think you should have to be going through this. That’s feeling sorry for yourself that never produces anything of value. It takes the spotlight off what is really important at any given time.
Go along to get along and don’t stand up in the boat or cause it to rock needless. Sit down, close the pie hole and open up the ear canals. Actively listen and know there is much to learn that you don’t know. Blind spots, perfect imperfection, thank God we are not all alike or life would be very boring and highly predictable. If you strive to be happy, you will be told by some to cut it out. Asked what are you so happy about? Remember, you may have no idea what they have been going through or how life is treating them. Love them anyway, say a prayer for them but don’t let them steal your joy. Hold the door open anyway and strive to find ways to make their day a tad brighter because you should and can. Be a mentor. Have lots of mentors.
What is going to happen next?
The jury is out on that one folks but believe more good than bad will be the score at the end of the day. Start the next one with a clean shaken Etch-O-Sketch. Don’t let yesterday if it was not one of your best ruin the next. Look for the good. Be a team player and pitch in. All the time. Your effort is contagious and collectively major mountains can be moved shoulder to shoulder.
Expectations. Are they realistic?
Down to Earth and not too lofty or quick fix slam bang works best in your approach. You may know it but do you throw in the clutch, slide your stick into the right forward gear to achieve heading in that direction? Read, develop your faith, be sincere and remember we are all in this together for the greater good. The best is yet to be. That’s my advice for Maine school graduates.