It is a bittersweet time of the year – when we watch people special to us in one way or another go off to start another phase of their life, leaving behind so many memories at home to move forward, making new ones at colleges near and far. My family has had so many wonderful young people walk through our home, leaving footprints on our lives, and if I could have them walk out with something to take with them on their next journey, it would be this message.
When asked, most are excited to be going out on their own but we can see you’re anxious, nervous, maybe even a bit scared. We’ve been there before – you’ll be fine. Your generation is one that relies on social media to see the world and to see what others are experiencing. Don’t rely on it so much. See the world for yourself, with your own eyes. Don’t sit back and be a spectator watching someone else’s adventures. Go be a part of those or go have your own.
Just remember to make good choices and listen to your moral compass – the one that your parents, family, and friends have hopefully worked so hard to develop inside of you over these past 18 years. Do yourself a favor and add Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” to your playlist and actually listen to it often. Do not allow social media to overpower those attributes that make you a special and unique person. Share your time, your thoughts and your emotions with others through face-to-face interaction and not just screen time. Remember that a “like,” “post,” “tweet,” and whatever else is out there will never replace human interaction.
Exercise balance. Let people know the real you. Make sure you listen, share and are passionate towards what you care about. After all, you are our future leaders. Remember all those old adages you’ve been told. They are mostly true. If you fall down at all, just get back up and be the best you can be. Those who love you know you’ll succeed.
“Carpe diem – Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.”