Advice for the Graduate: From a Community of those who have gone before you

1. Spend most of your time with people who make you a better person. 

2. Call your mom, often.

3. Connect with people who are different from you, whether in age, race, sexual orientation, faith, or socio-economic class—learn from them.

4. Connect yourself to the Source of all power, truth, and life. If you don't know the source, find people who do.

5. Girls, be wise and travel in groups. Never leave one behind. Ever.

6. Don’t ever let fear stand in the way of your ability to perform an act of love or kindness toward another human being.

7. Get your passport. Now. There will be opportunities to volunteer, travel, spend a semester overseas. Be ready if the opportunity arises.

7. If you fall in love, make sure you still hang with your friends. Your friends are forever.

8. The church you grew up in may not be the church you end up in. If you think there is no church that can accept you, keep looking.

9. Seek help and healing when you are struggling. If you come across some anxiety or depression, this is normal. Get help.

10. Find a way to relax that doesn’t include a screen: read a book, take a walk, play some music, take up a hobby. 

12. Don’t be paralyzed by your choices. There will be many good options for schools, gap year programs, internships and the like. There may not be one perfect choice. There may be several. Choose.

13. Stay focused on the goal; you will make mistakes. Instead of allowing the mistakes to ruin you, let them become a part of your story. Keep going.

14. Find people who believe in you and encourage you. Learn to silence the voices of those who do not.

15. In the next four years you'll find out what God thinks of you.  Be ready to be surprised. Once you find out, you will never be the same.