Thirty years ago I graduated from Warren County High School. Comparing what I knew then to now is like night and day. With seniors graduating soon I wanted to share some advice and a portion of what I have learned in life.
You will at some point work in a team environment. There will be those who don’t pull their weight. You will be frustrated. Always do your best. Your work ethic isn’t determined by others, you control it. Work hard regardless. Have an immaculate reputation that will negate any nonsense said about you. The proof is in the pudding. Don’t be the slacker.
No whining. You will sound like a petulant child who comes across spoiled and lazy. If you present a problem, present a solution. There’s always a solution. It may not be easy, but it’s there. Also, follow the rules. They are guidelines that will prevent you from messing up.
Make goals and work toward them. Failing is a part of trying. Try again. Learn from your mistakes. It’s never too late to be better and do better.
Listen to your gut and trust your instincts. Don’t ignore red flags. Nonsense won’t make sense. You have control of your reactions and participation. Let it go and move on. When someone shows you who they are believe it.
One thing I love about being older is knowing who I am. Realize your self-worth. There’s strength in that. There’s a difference in being confident and being an egomaniac. If someone knocks you down to build themself up that is called leveling. Their insecurity is showing and not your problem. Your inner strength will get you through this challenge and more. Don’t be a bully or a doormat. Know your worth.
Don’t lie. The truth will come out. The truth doesn’t need over explaining. Simply put, if you lie you are a liar and faith in anything you say will be questioned. It leaves an unseen mark on you and your reputation. A similar feeling of “just not right” is that something isn’t weird until you make it weird. Don’t make it weird. Muddy waters prevent clear vision.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yep, the golden rule. Being kind, friendly, appreciative, helpful and encouraging is not a weakness. Say please and thank you. Another rule I follow is that if I’m willing to say something about someone I have to be prepared to say it to them in person. It can make for an awkward situation, but it will be an honest one.
This last bit has become a problem with the invention of cell/smart phones. Be present. The phone has its place in keeping us connected, but it creates a disconnect between people and tasks. Put the phone away and get to work and engage the folks in front of you.
Hopefully this has been helpful to our graduates going out in the world. This can also be a reminder for those who are already there.
Standard reporter Jennifer Woods can be reached at 473-2191.