By Chris Churilla
You have just begun the final phase of your life before adulthood and entering the “real world”.
For those of you who are traditionally aged college students, I am old enough to be your father. I have been out there and done things most of you haven’t.
It has been a bumpy road at times, and I wish I had someone to help me along the way.
So, without further ado, here some life lessons.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
I’m not just talking about physically. You need to take care of yourself mentally, spiritually—if you’re into that sort of thing—and financially.
BAD TIMES WILL COME
No matter how much you prepare, they are going to happen. These are the times that are going to show your true character; will you buckle down and deal with it, whine about it or ask for help? Chances are you’ve had a couple already, and I can promise you will have more.
TRUE FRIENDS ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN
You may have over 1000 friends on Facebook or followers on Instagram or Twitter, but when the bad times comes, most of them can’t help you. They can offer moral support and send all the thoughts and prayers they can, but there are few who will stand with you and walk through the fire with you.
Keep those people close and do the same for them.
TELL THE TRUTH
Mark Twain said to tell the truth so you don’t have to remember what you said.
Telling the truth can be scary at times, especially when what you have to say may not be what people want to hear.
Do it anyway.
Those who get angry aren’t worth your time, those who accept it are.
ASK FOR HELP
Contrary to the common saying, you do not know everything. You have certainly learned some things, but you have much more to learn. When those aforementioned tough times come, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You might think, “I know what I’m doing, I can handle this.”
Well, if you knew what you were doing, you probably wouldn’t be in that situation, would you?
I will say this: there is a 99.9% chance there is someone out there who has been through what you will go through, so they know how to navigate through those rough waters. Now it’s just a matter of finding them.
It may be hard for some of you; it certainly has been hard for me, admitting to someone I am in over my head and I have no idea what to do.
But once you do, there is a sense of relief as at least some of the burden has been lifted off your shoulders.
Say “please” and “thank you”. Hold the door open for others. It is little courtesies like these that raise us above the animals. It only takes a moment of your time; are you so busy you can’t spare a moment?
DON’T RUSH TO JUDGE
We see people all the time and we make snap judgments about them based on their appearance or their actions within a span of about five seconds, but don’t hold them to those judgments.
We are icebergs; showing only a little part of ourselves to the outside. You have no idea what is going on underneath, so don’t be so quick to decide what kind of person they are based of those brief interactions.
DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ
This applies especially to the internet. People will slant events through their own perspective, seeing things that may not be there but then passing off their interpretation as fact.
When you read about something that makes your blood boil, take a moment to look up the event and try to see it from some other perspectives; the truth will often be somewhere in between the two.
YOU AREN’T OWED ANYTHING
You may think you are entitled to things such as free education and healthcare or any other number of things.
You are not.
If you are given something, you have no appreciation for it. It doesn’t have as much value as if you had actually worked for it.
I hope some of these help you as you try to make your way through this maze known as life.