Dear graduate,

I know you are not looking for advice. I know you just graduated and you feel like you already know everything. And you do . . . but I can’t help giving you some words of wisdom as you head out into the world – things I have learned over the years – advice I wish I would have listened to when I was your age. Here’s what I wish for you . . .

ALWAYS PUT GOD FIRST

I know this is hard to understand at your age, but you will always be at peace with your life if you trust in God’s plan. Pray every day and always ask yourself what Jesus would do before making decisions. Let God’s love lead you in all that you do and live your life with hope. Remember, this life is temporary . . . your reward is in Heaven!

NEVER GIVE UP

Life is hard. There are going to be so many times you feel like quitting, but just don’t. Work hard at everything you do – whether you are sweeping the floor or running a business. Build the best work ethic you can . . . that will help you succeed and earn you respect.

BE KIND TO EVERYONE

Kindness makes the world a better place. It is so easy to judge and criticize, but that damages relationships and hurts feelings. Always be an encourager . . . help others and see the good in them. A kind word inspires and goes a long way. Spread it everywhere you go.

PUSH YOURSELF

. . . every day to step out of your comfort zone. You are important and you have a purpose in this life . . . don’t be afraid to dream big and believe in yourself!

DO THE RIGHT THING

This should be your life motto. If you do the right thing, your conscience will always be clear. If you don’t, guilt and regret will live in your heart. It is not always easy to do the right thing, but it will always make your life better. 

NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LIKE YOU

And that’s OK. Sometimes you can do everything right . . . and certain people will just not like you. Those are NOT your people. Move on . . . don’t dwell on them. Find your tribe – those that cheer you on and support you and encourage you and make you a better person. You deserve someone who makes you feel good about yourself . . . someone who makes you happy. Don’t ever settle for anything less.

LIFE IS HARD & UNFAIR

You will have failures and disappointments and mistakes and heartbreaks. I wish I could protect you from all those hurts, but it is a part of life. Just know that these hard times will make you stronger and will mold you into a more compassionate and caring person. Be positive, stay hopeful, keep trying and continue to forgive and love others no matter how dark the days feel. There are always brighter days ahead.

LIFE IS SHORT

And tomorrow is never guaranteed. Love big and live with passion. Take risks and do what makes you happy. Give yourself grace and then give it to others. Hug, laugh, take vacations, be silly, dance in the rain, love others, eat the cake . . . live your life as if every day is your last!

YOU ARE LOVED

You are important. You are smart. You are worthy. You are unique. You have a purpose. You are strong. You are brave. You are amazing. You are perfect just as you are. You can do hard things. Always know these things deep in your heart and soul. 

AND DON’T FORGET TO . . .

Always clean up after yourself.
Always lock your doors.
Always use good manners.
Always drive safe.
Always try your best.
Always own your mistakes and apologize.
Always respect other’s opinions.

And most importantly, ALWAYS CALL YOUR MOM. Because she will always be there . . . loving you and worrying about you. She will always believe in you, no matter how many mistakes you make. She will always encourage you even when you feel like quitting. She will always cheer you on, pray you through each day and love you through it all! She will always be there for you, no matter how far away you live and she will always be so very proud of the adult you have become.

Congratulations, class of 2019! You did it! So excited for this next chapter in your life. Now go be awesome!

Isaiah 40:31

Originally published on Love, Faith & Chaos

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Heather Duckworth

I am a wife & mother to 5 awesome kids, 4 on earth and 1 in Heaven. From having triplets, to losing a child to cancer, to adopting – I have experienced about every joy, challenge & heartache of motherhood. I often write about family, faith & the crazy chaos that is my life.