My kid just graduated college. We are so proud of her. She’s only the second person–out of a huge family on my side–to graduate from college. Guess who was the first. It was never even a question of if with her; it was when. So far, we’ve all had too much fun celebrating to stop and listen to my “this isn’t the end, just the beginning” speech. She probably doesn’t need it, but she’ll know it will make me feel better to give it. Since you’re here, though. Here is the best graduation advice. I chose my article carefully. Graduation isn’t the beginning. Graduation is just a beginning. Learning Never Stops.
Yes. This will be on the test.
I Tried to Talk Her Out of College
[Side Note: I wrote this post back before I started posting. The advice is still important.]
I even tried to talk her out of it. It’s this odd ability I have. When someone really wants to do something but is a little unsure of how or if, I have this way of talking them out of it that just makes them really determined to do it. Not that there was ever a question with her.
For those of you choosing to not go to college, this same advice applies because…
Now that you’ve finished college, it’s time to start learning.
You have learned much in college, but you haven’t figured out much.
You have only got to the next level, Leveled up, as it were. Now you have to figure out the next level. You know how in video games, you can find hacks to that tell you how to get the items you need to get passed this level?
I don’t play video games, so just work with me here.
Learn the Hacks
Life has hacks too. They’re called books. Millions of people have got passed this level, and then they wrote down how to do it. We don’t have to figure the whole thing out for ourselves. You can still try though. What would be the fun of hacking your way to the end and not getting to enjoy the challenging parts? Have some fun, but go to the Library, Half Priced Books or Amazon and read up on a few of the hacks.
You can hack physical health, mental health, housekeeping, finances, relationships, traveling on a budget, IOS, Twitter, everything.
If you can’t find a book on what you want to learn, then it’s your turn.
Take Some Notes
Take notes from books as though you were writing a paper. Then instead of going back and reading the whole book, which would be great to do for your faves, you can just go read through what resonated with you at the time. Who knows? You may even use those notes as references for a book of your own some day.
You level up. Learning takes you to another level. It opens and expands your mind, prepares you to learn something a little more complicated and profound that what you could previously. You’ll gain a better understanding of concepts you just thought you understood previously. Learning something new will give you more ideas.
Do the Work, aka, Act!
Don’t just read it though. Do the work. Not just any work that some small-minded, middle management delegates you, so he can prove how good he is. Doing work that matters to you is a great source of happiness. Almost as much as action–doing the work–makes you happy, learning makes you happy. You feel better having completed the learning process. You have the new knowledge you can apply and share.
Almost as much as action–doing the work–makes you happy, learning makes you happy. You feel better having completed the learning process. You have the new knowledge you can apply and share.
Share the Love
Buy books for your friends. Don’t start off with buying your out-of-shape friends weight loss books. Warm up your friends with more general, light-hearted, inspirational books, humorous books, and great fiction. When you start getting that reputation as the spreader of wisdom, work your way up to the heavier books. No pun intended. By the way, what is a better word for spreader? Spreader just doesn’t flow the way I’d like that sentence too
It gives you something to talk about. It’s fun to talk about what happened on “Daredevil” or “Breaking Bad,” but you can have that kind of small talk with any stranger. When you can engage in a deep conversation with a loved one about something you’ve learned, you may help that person and you’ll strengthen the relationship.
You’ll unlearn some junk you have learned in the past. The media is full of nonsense. Your professors in college probably fed you some nonsense. If you put nonsense you learn from a few different sources, you could come up with truth. If you understand the perspective and thought process of someone with whom you disagree, you’ll be closer to the truth than if you only digest what you want to hear.
Never Stop Learning
Now, more than ever, continual learning is right up there on our list of human needs.
It is probably somewhere after friends and water but before petroleum and queso.
The Internet has made continual learning easy, but it’s also made continual learning expected. Except on Twitter.
I would say that you would be dumb not to always keep learning, but that would be too obvious. See what I did there? You know somebody like that, right? You don’t want to be that person.
So the rundown. Learning:
- makes you happy
- makes you better
- makes life easier
- makes life more exciting
- makes you a better friend
- opens your mind
- can keep you from looking like an idiot.
Now go learn something in Peace.
A Little More Advice
Since you are here.
Be patient and remember The Compound Effect.
4 Ways Politics Makes You (and Everyone Else) Miserable so…
Always Be Wrong. And…
Don’t Take Happiness Too Seriously
Please share more advice for our graduates in the comments below!
2 thoughts on “Learning Never Stops: Graduation is Just a Beginning”
LOVE this advice! Never said better! I have always had a great conundrum with regard to extolling the virtues of a college education when I know that life itself and self learning is by far a better value for the dollar! But then, college is important, but not important in the way that our culture teaches it to be! It is, as you say, just another level in the game of life. The real learning does start after college for most. I try to encourage my kids to start exploring self learning and exploration alongside their formal education. My hope is that common sense, experimentation, travel, cultural immersion, failure, success, formal education, relationship management.. etc… are all things being studied/learned all along the road of discovery!
Well-said and more great advice, Darren. Thank you!