Welcome to the day after Graduation or as it is affectionately called at my house, “Oh Crap day”. It’s the day every parent sits back, kicks their feet up, and then looks around and thinks, “Oh Crap”.
That little baby that you brought home 18 years ago is about to walk out into the world and try to make it as an adult.
Many kids take the fast pass. They turn the tassel, shake a hand and head to their job on Monday. Most of the time, the same one they’ve been working all year. Maybe it’s not their career job, but it pays the bills and let’s face it, it’s all they need right now.
Then we have those that are thinking about college. They are thinking it’s going to be so much better/easier at college. They just need the freedom to show the rest of us that they can do this. Yes, they still need your money, car insurance, and dental plan but to them, that’s not important.
No matter the path you take, one thing is for sure, as of today, you are in charge of you.
This new adult life you are embarking on is a game, you just have to know what inning you are in.
Here are some quick tips:
- In the beginning, you will be in the “getting comfortable with crowd” innings. Find out quickly what you stand for. High School is over. I would love to tell that the friends you have had since 1st grade will be your bff’s forever, but they won’t. You will make friends that have something in common with you now not just the street they live on or the Biology class you are in. These people, you will actually choose to hang out with. Choose these people very carefully. Choose people that fill you up and don’t tear you down. Choose people that make you feel like home but challenge your thinking. Choose people that make you laugh, go in the direction you want to go, and cheer for you along the way. Remember, if at any time these people make you feel off, you.don’t.have.to.be.their.friend! Walk away.
- Now you are figuring out who you want to be. In these middle innings, every day counts. These innings will be where you settle in, things start to become automatic and you will start to think about winning or losing. The world is not very good at letting you know what matters but it is VERY GOOD at rewarding what matters. People who are good to others, always win. So hold the door, say I’m sorry, play with the crying 6-year-old at the park and call your grandmother. These little things will help you understand those around you and get you ready for the last few innings.
- The final innings of this new game, you will have to make some decisions. Will you swing for the fences or lay down a bunt? Either way, you have a chance to win. This is where you may need to take a deep breath and look at your parents in the stands. Yep, they’ve been there cheering for you all this time. They have tried not to coach you too much, hid their eyes a couple of times and even worn their lucky socks in 100-degree weather. They have been there and will be there. Yes, your mom has cried during a few of the innings and your dad has worn a hole in his walking shoes but that will explain the awkwardly long hug at the end of this game. They were just regular people 18 years ago, but now they could win the Power ball lottery and you would still be the best thing that happened to them. So be gentle with them. Let them wear your “Biggest Fan” shirt, hold up a foam finger and pose for another family photo.
Remember the world will cheer for the first and the last in every competition. Learn to cheer for yourself when you are not in one of those positions. You’ve got this.