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What They Don't Tell You at Graduation - WSJ.com

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posted on May, 2 2012 @ 12:07 PM
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My daughter is receiving her Masters Degree in June. She chose a double-major package after High School, and was awarded a scholarship to Northwestern University.

She has on her email signature this link, which she introduces with: to all recent and future grads: a must read:

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You


Class of 2012,

I became sick of commencement speeches at about your age. My first job out of college was writing speeches for the governor of Maine. Every spring, I would offer extraordinary tidbits of wisdom to 22-year-olds—which was quite a feat given that I was 23 at the time. In the decades since, I've spent most of my career teaching economics and public policy. In particular, I've studied happiness and well-being, about which we now know a great deal. And I've found that the saccharine and over-optimistic words of the typical commencement address hold few of the lessons young people really need to hear about what lies ahead. Here, then, is what I wish someone had told the Class of 1988:


My daugher's course-work led to a Bachelor's in Material Science Engineering, and now a Masters in Journalism.

Her objective was also two-fold. To be part of the bridge over that gap between Science/Engineering and the lay person's ability to comprehend what all those specialist guys talk about.

I am deeply impressed by her doing this, not because she is my daughter, but because it shows that there ARE youths out there who are ready and willing to discuss among themselves and to pay heed to those offering hindsight regarding the things we are dealing with now in our world.

Every day I check in on ATS, into this forum and others, and I see negativity, ignorance, divisive attacks, blame, denial, fingerpointing and doom and gloom. Not often are there uplifting messages, nor complementary items toward those young adults in whose hands our future now lies.

I suggest every member read these...those with graduating kids, those with young kids, those graduating, EVERYONE. And pass it along to those in your life who you care about...give them some helpful hints and ecnouragement, via this essay in the WSJ that is in itself appropriate for ATS:
Denying Ignorance about the real world.

I hope that every youth, every family has access to these ideas. In those of you Mellenials, who will be the shining light for the future, lies all our hope.

Please accept that challenge, and take to heart the old saying:

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb
source

Namaste


edit on 2-5-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 2 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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For those of you who are lazy to click the link:

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent.
2. Some of your worst days lie ahead.
3. Don't make the world worse.
4. Marry someone smarter than you are.
5. Help stop the Little League arms race.
6. Read obituaries.
7. Your parents don't want what is best for you.
8. Don't model your life after a circus animal.
9. It's all borrowed time.
10. Don't try to be great.



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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reply to post by Skywatcher2011
 


Thanks....I'd have added that, but I think the paragraphs that follow the bullet points are WAY too important for people to just read the bullet points. It's an easy read....and without the notes -- the meat -- the bullet points mean NOTHING.

But hopefully your post will make people go ahead and read them.
Reading the bullet points alone is like reading a book's title and skipping the book.....They aren't "headline summaries"...they are intros to the author's point.

I'll just post the ex-texts if no one else seems to be interested.




posted on May, 3 2012 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 

No probs



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 10:25 AM
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Your life will be run by your credit score.

If you don't have a good credit score you will not be allowed to get into an apartment or buy a new car.



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by EvilSadamClone
Your life will be run by your credit score.

If you don't have a good credit score you will not be allowed to get into an apartment or buy a new car.


Heh...yeah.

Yesterday I heard on Here and Now (radio show, NPR) a story about the War Against Youth...how hard it is for them to even find work...how internships (unpaid) are holding them back from paying off their student loans or even considering buying a car (no money!) and how it's a planned corporate collusion to do so.

Sickening. Maybe I'll post a thread about that, too.
Thanks for your reply!



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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Some good advice in there, definitely.

Although I would give grads different advice for the following points:


8. Don't model your life after a circus animal.

...If you leave a work task undone in order to meet a friend for dinner, then you are "shirking" your work. But it's also true that if you cancel dinner to finish your work, then you are shirking your friendship


I would change this one to "be a better planner", then you won't get in trouble at work OR with your friend.

Plus, go ahead and be the best circus animal you can be (at work only), but save some peanuts instead of spending on crap you don't need. Maybe there will be some left when you're ready to slow down.


4. Marry someone smarter than you are.


Nah...marry the person you love and will be there for you, no matter what. If you think you're smarter than someone based on school grades, then you are probably not as smart as you think you are anyway. True smartness will be reflected over time and your responses to what life deals you.



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 11:32 AM
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Education Institutes are more interested in money than teaching for success. They will look every possible way to get money out of you;

"A day late for you registration? Sorry, you are going to have to pay $100"
"You are 5% over your part-tme workload? Sorry, we have to charge you as a full time, that would be extra $3,000"

Among other stress in school, money was one of the worse. Finally paid all my tuition
. But.. planning on doing my Masters.. yup.. procrastinating.... might not happen, don't wanna go thru all those again.



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 11:42 AM
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flagg..... what a refreshing thread!
the young ones mean so much to me somehow....that generation will see some stuff....



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by Zarniwoop
 


I think you may have missed the author's point.

The circus-animal one is to discuss BALANCE...that work is not the be-all and end-all of life. Burn-out is all too common, and people need to realize that they can't do EVERYTHING perfectly. One major issue with our society is the mistaken idea that women, in particular, can have fabulous careers AND raise a family. They can't. They have to hire out the raising of the family, which makes the kids nothing but "trophies" being raised by someone else.

I would add to the point, though: if you are going to have children, raise them yourself. This is only possible if one parent is there all the time. Farming out children to others in the pursuit of wealth and power is, in my opinion, wrong.

And btw, here's another link my daughter sent me...timely and very pertinent. Parenting is the MOST important job there is.

And as for the marriage advice...
the point is that if you have two people team up who are both capable of succeeding in their chosen professions, they will have a better shot at not becoming a statistic like so many of us are now....with no job, lost their homes, lost their savings...

and really, who would want to marry someone that can't keep up with them intellectually?? Those are usually the ones that end up divorced. After all, marriage is a lot more than four bare legs in a bed.

It requires work, dedication, companionship, friendship, and mutual respect and understanding. Believe me, I tried it the other way 3 times. Finally got it right this time...and he's brilliant AND a good companion, completely trustworthy, hard-working, and loving. I really scored with him...
and he waited until he was 36 looking for the right person.. fortunately for me, I got chosen.

Thanks for contributing, though..
edit on 3-5-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by luciddream
 


I definitely don't think going to college or university is the only and best way. My 21-year-old son is not in college...he's working. Building credit, gaining experience and a work history. Life experience is just as important as school learning. He is every bit as bright as my daughter, but not into academics. They are both employed, which is fantastic. Unfortunately, my daughter, although her prospects are good, is deeply in debt. My son is not.

In fact, if this weren't a commencement speech, I'd add:

don't think you have to go to college, do what you enjoy and have discovered a talent for...learn through experience or find a trade school....
well, okay, if it was a high school commencement, I would DEFINITELY add that in.



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 11:09 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes

The circus-animal one is to discuss BALANCE...that work is not the be-all and end-all of life. Burn-out is all too common, and people need to realize that they can't do EVERYTHING perfectly.


Also it means think outside the "gerbil in the wheel" routine and also it is not all about the "rat race". Moreover, be creative and don't let others keep telling you what to do because if you don't set your own goals, someone you work for will (just like the trainer of the circus animal).



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 





Every day I check in on ATS, into this forum and others, and I see negativity, ignorance, divisive attacks, blame, denial, fingerpointing and doom and gloom. Not often are there uplifting messages, nor complementary items toward those young adults in whose hands our future now lies.


I suspect there are more members in this site than you may be aware of that have tried to put out a message of positivity and praise today's youth. I, just a few days ago, created a thread dedicated to the praise, support, and appeal of help for some youth. It died a quick death, and languishes in the ether ignored. Conversely, I can write a thread with a purposely manipulative title that appeals to the worst in us, and it will get all kinds of play.

These are the times in which we live. Thanks for your efforts. Star and Flag.



posted on May, 3 2012 @ 11:53 PM
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College? Glad I skipped that nonsense, I opted for an intership for 6 weeks busted my ass at work and now have a steady job, health and dental. Now granted, things lined up for me, however when I made my big move it was gamble and it paid off. I've managed to do the one thing I've promised I wouldn't do and that is get into debt!


OT: Grats and your daughter graduating though hope things go well for her! List is a little hard for me to relate to based on my youth. Though I can agree for the most part S & F



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by Mcupobob
 



List is a little hard for me to relate to based on my youth. Though I can agree for the most part

In twenty more years you'll be able to see it very clearly. The article was written for you as a youth, though...so, just keep the ideas in mind as you go along.

Best of luck with your future. We're counting on ya!!



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


I suspect there are more members in this site than you may be aware of that have tried to put out a message of positivity and praise today's youth. I, just a few days ago, created a thread dedicated to the praise, support, and appeal of help for some youth. It died a quick death, and languishes in the ether ignored.


I get your point exactly JeanPaul. Sorry I missed your uplifting thread. I tend to hang out in only a few forums; Social Issues is one I come to from time to time, but I used to come here often and got tired of being bashed by neo-con hysterics.

Yeah, the bad news gets all the traffic. Sometimes I think ATS does more damage than good, with people so gullible and immersed in conspiratorial doom and gloom that they are wrecking their own lives with pessimism.

I know it affected me for a while that way, and I have to stay consciously focused on the fact that from day to day nothing much new happens in my little world. Things are going okay. I don't think I'm being ignorant and I'm not one of the paranoiacs that race around expecting demise at any moment. I think we need to go outside more, stop worrying about being irradiated, or food-poisoned, or gunned down in our homes or rounded up and sent to fema camps...

It's just not healthy. I don't want to be unhealthy, so I stay optimistic and come to ATS to try to dispel the knee-jerk fear and loathing that some people toss around so blithely.

I don't know what's going to happen, I know about what I know from living my life for 53 years...and try to extend myself to others. They are free to take it or leave it.

Thanks for reading, though. Keep up the positive thinking!!


edit on 4-5-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by Skywatcher2011
 



Also it means think outside the "gerbil in the wheel" routine and also it is not all about the "rat race". Moreover, be creative and don't let others keep telling you what to do because if you don't set your own goals, someone you work for will (just like the trainer of the circus animal).

Exactly how I saw it, too.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



I think you may have missed the author's point.


Nope. I get the authors points. I was pointing out a couple of areas where I don’t necessarily agree with him. Perhaps I was being too critical of what is supposed to be an idealistic speech. I suppose commencement speakers don't get selected for just saying "make good decisions and best of luck"


The circus-animal one is to discuss BALANCE...that work is not the be-all and end-all of life. Burn-out is all too common, and people need to realize that they can't do EVERYTHING perfectly


I’ve been in the white collar workforce for a long time now, and the younger generation these days seems to be in no danger of burn-out. It’s the older guys and gals that stick with it and get the job done while the younger crowd runs off to happy hour. If anything I’d tell grads to work their butts off while they are young so they can build their careers early. They don’t have to do everything perfectly, but they should make an effort and most importantly, learn from their mistakes.


I would add to the point, though: if you are going to have children, raise them yourself


I agree, and would also like to tell grads that you don't HAVE to have kids, no matter how much your parents want grandchildren. Most of our friends have kids because that’s what you’re “supposed to do”. I think the most important having-kids advice is to put more effort into planning your family than you would a summer vacation.


And as for the marriage advice...
the point is that if you have two people team up who are both capable of succeeding in their chosen professions

OK, I’ll give you that one. It’s pretty important as a baseline and it’s worked out amazingly well for me personally. But as you mention, it takes a whole lot of equally, if not vastly more important things to make a marriage successful.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by Zarniwoop
 

Thanks for clarifying. You're right...the twenty-somethings DO have the energy and freedom to go days without sleep, work unbelievably long hours and still go out partying...
which we old folks did at that age, too....but they get taken advantage of and often their lives are OWNED by those employers...on call all the time, heaps of responsibility often with entry-level pay, really high expectations that they do so or hit the road.

At least, from my experience working with them over the last couple of decades.


We agree entirely, and thanks again for your take on the piece!



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