Dear Child Who Just Graduated High School,
I know you are not looking for advice, especially from your mom. I know you just graduated from high school and you feel like you already know a lot. And you do . . . but I can’t help giving you some words of wisdom as you head out into the world – things I have learned over the years – advice I wish I would have listened to when I was your age.
To my new graduate, here’s what I wish for you:
1. Always Put God First
I know this is hard to understand at your age, but you will always be at peace with your life if you trust in God’s plan. Pray every day and always ask yourself what Jesus would do before making decisions. Let God’s love lead you in all that you do and live your life with hope. Remember, this life is temporary . . . your reward is in Heaven!
2. Never Give Up
Life is hard. There are going to be so many times you feel like quitting, but just don’t. Work hard at everything you do – whether you are sweeping the floor or running a business. Build the best work ethic you can . . . that will help you succeed and earn you respect.
3. Be Kind to Everyone
Kindness makes the world a better place. It is so easy to judge and criticize, but that damages relationships and hurts feelings. Plus, everyone has a story and you never know what someone else might be going through – so just be nice! Always be an encourager . . . help others and see the good in them. A kind word inspires and goes a long way. Spread it everywhere you go.
4. Push Yourself
Step out of your comfort zone. You are important and you have a purpose in this life . . . don’t be afraid to dream big!
5. Do the Right Thing
I’ve said this a million times while you were growing up. It should be your life motto. If you do the right thing, your conscience will always be clear. If you don’t, guilt and regret will live in your heart. It is not always easy to do the right thing, but it will always make your life better.
6. Not Everyone’s Going to Like You
And that’s okay. Sometimes you can do everything right . . . and certain people will just not like you. Those are NOT your people. Move on . . . don’t dwell on them. Find your people – those that cheer you on and support you and encourage you and make you a better person. You deserve someone who makes you feel good about yourself!
7. Life is Hard and Unfair
You will have failures and disappointments and mistakes and heartbreaks. I wish I could protect you from all those hurts, but it is a part of life. Just know that these hard times will make you stronger and will mold you into a more compassionate and caring person. And know that I will always be here to help you through those difficult times.
8. Life is Short
Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Love big and live with passion. Take risks and do what makes you happy. Hug, laugh, take vacations, be silly, dance in the rain, love others, eat the cake . . . live your life as if every day is your last!
Always clean up after yourself.
Always lock your doors.
Always use good manners.
Always drive safe.
Always try your best.
Always own your mistakes and apologize.
Always respect other’s opinions.
9. Always Call Your Mom!
Because I will always be here . . . loving you and worrying about you. Being your mother has been my greatest privilege in life and I thank God for you every day. I will always believe in you, no matter how many mistakes you make. I will always encourage you even when you feel like quitting. I will always be here for you, no matter how far away you live and I will always be so very proud of the adult you have become.
Congratulations, my child! I cannot wait to see what you do in the future. I am so excited for this next chapter in your life and I will always be right here, cheering you on, praying for you and loving you through it all!
So much love,
This article originally appeared on Heather’s Facebook page, Love, Faith, & Chaos, published with permission.