Dr. Val FarmerDr.Val
Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships

Ideas on love and work for graduates

Dear graduate, here’s a few ideas to take with you as you make decisions about your life and future career.

* Education is important

Be aggressive about learning. This is a fascinating and complex world, filled with wonder and beauty. Be curious. Learn new things and never stop learning

Become a skilled specialist in some field of endeavor and there will always be a place for you. The more education you can get, the better off you will be.

How would you like to give yourself a $500,000 graduation present? That’s what you’ll give yourself if you give yourself a college education. College graduates will earn an average of $500,000 more in their lifetime than high school graduates.

Let me tell you straight out. Our economy has moved from a manufacturing-based economy to an information-based economy. Computer and telecommunications advances are creating an explosion of knowledge that becomes available to anybody, almost instantly, practically anywhere.

In this economy, educated people enjoy a great advantage over less educated people. The haves and the have-nots of tomorrow will be divided along the lines of education.

* Choosing a career

Don’t be in too big a hurry. It’s an awfully big world out there with all kinds of fascinating things to do. Have some experiences. Experiment. Find inspirational and motivating teachers and other role models.

Match up what you enjoy with what you are good at. That is the key. If you find something you are good at and really enjoy, you’ll have a great career. Don’t be trapped by a dead-end job you don’t like.

Develop a vision of where you want to be someday and pay the price to get there. Be realistic about your strengths and limitations and play to your strengths.

Take small steps that will take you in the direction you want to go. Prepare yourself for your capstone position. Without a goal or a vision for your life, you won’t accomplish much importance.

Be the best you can be. Strive for excellence. Love your work for its own sake and the rewards for what you do will take care of themselves.

* Take responsibility

Be a self-starter. Take the initiative Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Don’t be a critic. Don’t hold back your effort. Be a part of the solution.

I can’t tell how important this attitude is for having a good career or for getting a good education. Take responsibility for your part of the bargain and then do more.

Don’t be distracted by things that aren’t worthy of your time. There is a huge entertainment culture and ethic in our society that would have us believe that the purpose of life is to have fun, relax, and be a spectator or a consumer for their products or services.

The purpose of life isn’t to have fun but to grow and develop yourself into the finest human being you can be. That will take hard work.

Freedom is wonderful. It is how you use your freedom that will be the test of what you really think and value. —

* Learn to love

Work is important. Love is just as important. It is important to learn to love and happiness will come from serving and meeting other’s needs.

As teen-agers, you have been self-centered, forming your own identities and personalities. It’s been a time for finding out who you are and what you stand for.

Friendships are an important preparation for the adult world of relationships.

In your friendships, you have learned to listen, press your feelings, negotiate your differences, t< ate each other’s weaknesses, and please, serve, <. bring happiness to someone else.

These are important skills in adult relationsh With these skills, you can be a true friend an good marriage partner someday.

Learn to be kind. Put yourself in someone el shoes. Be courteous, respectful and considerate others. When you do this, you are on the pathway to love.

The next few years will show if you’ve learned how to get outside of yourself and love others.

If you want to be a great man or woman someday, you can be a great young man or young woman now. Start by looking out for the underdog, being compassionate, including others and by doing things for others to make their lives a little less difficult

* The gift of undivided attention

Let me give you another tip on relationships Learn to give your undivided attention and concentration. It is a gift of love. Be a good listener. This is hard. Really hard.

Good listening is learning how to set aside our opinions, strong emotions or straying thoughts really focus on trying to understand the human being you are with.

Good listeners learn from others, do well in team settings and especially have great relationships. Listening is a skill that communicates respect, interest, acceptance, and love.

You’ll have to work just as hard at your relationships as you will at your career. Learn to love and serve others and you’ll unlock the door to happinesss. 

Each of you are different and special. Each of you are loveable. You are precious. You have gifts and talents to unfold. The world needs what you have to offer.