As the Mom of a 8-year-old, it’s hard to imagine that one day he may be graduating college. Those years will go by faster than I will want them to, I have no doubt about that, and there is a lot I need to teach “D” between now and then! I have been thinking about what I would say to him if that time was already upon us, and so here is my letter to my future college graduate:
Dear (future) D,
As you graduate college, I want to impart some knowledge and advice that I have acquired throughout my lifetime. I hope that as you start on this next phase of your life, you will keep these words close to your heart.
Be true to yourself – Don’t ever sacrifice your morals or integrity because someone asks you to. If you find yourself in a job or situation that makes you uncomfortable, just walk away. It’s easier to cut ties than to live with the consequences of making a bad decision. Have the courage to walk away!
If money is the answer to what you like most about your job, then it’s not the right job for you – Whatever career path you choose should bring you happiness, help others and be rewarding on many different levels, not just financially. The worst thing about a high paying job is that you will adjust your standard of living to meet that salary, and it’s hard to ever go back. If money is what is driving you, then it’s time to rethink your priorities.
Fund your 401k from your very first paycheck – Retirement seems like an ambiguous concept, but it’s not. Somehow time moves more quickly when you become an adult, and your ’20s will become your ’70s in a blink of an eye. You’ll want to live out your golden years without worry and anxiety, and you won’t be able to enjoy yourself if you haven’t planned accordingly.
No one will ever love you more than your Mom – It may sound like a cliché but it’s not. There is nothing stronger than a bond between a mother and her child, and no matter what happens, I will always be here for you.
There is only one Mother Earth. Respect her and protect her – Generations before you have already started down a path of destruction. There have already been many things done to our precious earth that cannot be reversed. It’s up to your generation to prevent any more harm from taking place. Fight against the people and companies who care only about profits and nothing about humanity.
Better to try and fail, than to not try at all – Many people go through life afraid of taking chances because they are afraid to fail. I encourage you to take a chance and dream big because you never know what will happen. So what if you fail? It just means you have another opportunity to succeed.
And I will end this letter by reminding you of the one thing that I have been saying to you since you were born. If you can live by one principle alone, then let it be this one: Love Others – because at the end of the day, nothing else really matters!