Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2012, if there was only one piece of advice I could give you to help your future it would be this: Be on time. Being the first person to arrive somewhere to assess the situation and stake out your spot is worth the down time while waiting for everyone else to arrive. Success follows people who can plan out their work day, and there is so much stress taken out of your life when you are not scrambling. Trust me.
Other things that are not as important, but still worth sharing: travel. Don’t just take a few days or weeks either. I would recommend trying to work abroad for a few months or years to really understand and embrace another culture. Don’t let your email, voicemails or your laundry pile up. If you do, there’s nothing wrong with taking it to a drop off service once in a while just to have clean clothes. Your laundry, that is.
It’s ok to have a much smaller group of close friends. Spend your rent money on something. You will appreciate it much more if it’s something you had to eat soda crackers for two weeks to have. Always return phone calls. You don’t want to become known as someone who doesn’t. Take walks in the morning. Keep a journal during a life process: a trip, a relationship or a new job. Going back and reading it will be more entertaining than any Harry Potter book.
Smile when you walk into a room. If that’s too weird try just thinking of something pleasant, like a delicious meal you recently ate or nice sexual encounter. You will subconsciously bring in with you a positive energy that is always appreciated by the people that happen to look over at you. This also works when taking photographs.
Do value your time. It goes by much faster than you think. Shop at the Farmer’s Market; you will save money and your clothes will fit better, and fresh vegetables are so damn delicious. Think before you ever say “I can’t” to your boss. Look things up on your smart phone. Write thank you notes. Wake up early on a Sunday once in a while; you will enjoy a nice long day before your weekend is over. Vent your frustrations to your mother instead of the Internet. Ask questions. Shakas, not middle fingers in photos. Pay the cover. Don’t hold grudges; everything can be let go after a certain amount of time. Take your work and the products you produce very seriously. If it has your name on it, make it the very best possible. Remember that you are 100 percent in control of your own destiny. There truly is no limit to what you can do with your life. Live the life you want to live. Live the life you want to live then share it on social networks (not the other way around).
There’s so much more, but these are the things I wish someone would have told me. Actually, someone probably did but I didn’t listen. I didn’t need to! I was young and wild and free. These days, as more and more fresh faces pop up on the scene, I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be in a position to make things happen for you. Here’s to you, the new gen. May life bring you nothing but success and happiness. Love, Christa
Don’t worry, you guys, it definitely gets better.