Dear Girls –
For once, I’m at a loss for words. In less than 48 hours – yes, we’ve come to that point where we can measure things in hours – you will graduate from college. And it hardly seems possible. I know I ought to have some words of wisdom, something important to tell you, but I really can’t put it into words. I thought for sure that if I waited until everything was all wrapped up this week, I’d have some time to sit and think about it and it would just come to me, and yet . . . here I sit with nothing. So let me just say this:
- I’m proud of you . . . so extremely proud of you. You’ve both achieved things I never thought possible. Hell, I thought students like you existed only in movies. I struggled in college, basically because I didn’t have to do much in high school, and it wasn’t until I had to focus my energies that last semester my junior year that things began to fall into place.
- Do something good for people. Volunteer. Offer people that side of you that most people don’t see in academics. You have more talent than you know what to do with . . . let others put it to good use.
- Get to know your new cities. See what is out there. Take a day once a week and explore. Even if it is just for a few hours, make that new city your home if only for a year. Explore the markets. Get to know the woman who runs the corner coffee shop. Find a “local” and claim your booth.
- Read a book once a month. Read a book more than once a month. But read whatever the hell you want. You don’t “have” to read the latest best seller, so read what you want. However, you might have to read what your professors tell you, too. Sadly, that’s not going away.
- Remember that you have a support system. You have family who loves you, who pretty much will do anything for you (let’s avoid bail money, shall we?). You need it . . . you’re covered.
- Keep your “twinness.” You’re moving to separate cities, and you’ll be on your own for a longer time than last winter. I know that you will be with people that you love, but it will be different not having each other. There’s not an “end date” this time around, so it’s up to you two.
- Never give up. You’ll have challenges in the future. I know that you will hit bumps in the road, but you can’t let those bumps turn into a road block. Every time you turn on the news, it’s gloom-and-doom for your generation. For the love of god, Time just made their cover article about how self-centered the Millennials are . . . prove them wrong. Prove that you won’t let this screwed up economy, conflicted government, sound-byte media define what you can accomplish.
- Keep in touch. I’m not asking for a daily phone call. Texts are fine. Send me an Instagram photo of your new favorite place. Hop on to my Facebook timeline and post a funny Doctor Who meme. But don’t tell me what you had for dinner. Unless it was fucking awesome. Or you made it.
- Enjoy your life. Period. The end.
So, just like you were at your dad’s graduation and my graduation, we’ll be at yours. I hope that the commencement speaker is more interesting than the speakers at ours. I hope that you can hear your grandfather whistle when you cross the stage. I hope that you enjoy the moment when you get to move your tassel to the other side of the cap. I hope your robes are “blinged out” exactly the way you thought it would be. And I hope you know that you mean the world to me.