Happy Friday, which is also National Pizza Party Day, National May Ray Day, and Malcolm X Day. AND the first day of TEN days off of work. I’m not going anywhere special. I have a few plans but who knows if they’ll actually happen. But my time is (mostly) my own and I can’t wait to see what kind of unstructured mess I get into. I would love to try a float tank. Or have a massage!
My neighbors have many peony plants and I envied them for years. Last year I had a revelation: Just buy your own damn peony plant. So I did and they’re going to bloom any minute now. There are only 7 buds this year but they are 7 more than I’ve ever had. Our rose bushes are popping as well.
Moral: You can buy your own flowers, write your name in the sand, etc etc.
Time for the Friday 5! This week’s theme is Circumstance and Pomp, which refers to high school graduation. For me, that was all the way back in 1990! Let’s get to it.
- What advice do you have for a high school grad getting ready to begin college?
LIVE THERE. Do not commute. If you commute you’re going to miss so many opportunities for connection because you’re not going to want to drive back for extracurriculars or parties. If you’re truly unable to, then you’re unable to, but try as hard as you can to get on campus for at least a part of the first two years. For being as old as I am I don’t have a lot of regrets in my life* but commuting is a big one.
- What advice do you have for a high school grad getting ready to enter the workforce?
Don’t let anyone put you down for not going to college, but do try to work toward extra licensing and certificates. Join your professional trade association if you’re financially able to, because you’re not going to have that college network to fall back on. (Actually, I don’t even have a college network because I commuted, see point 1.) You’re going to be fine. Only get one credit card. Learn to make and answer phone calls.
- What advice do you have for a high school grad who doesn’t know what’s next?
Your best years are ahead of you but these are the years where it’s more likely people will smile sweetly when you make an error, so don’t be afraid of screwing up.
- What advice do you have for a high school grad whose high school years were disappointing?
Covid really fucked up your transition into high school life, and I’m so sorry. Life, including high school, is not as shiny and perfect as it is on television and social media. Getting through it and being emotionally intact is a bigger accomplishment than the diploma. No matter what people might say, being extremely into what you did in high school is less and less normal/attractive as each year goes by.
- What do you remember about your own graduation from high school?
It rained until we were set to enter, and when the orchestra hit Pomp and Circumstance the sun came out. I thought I’d be so sad, but I was happy to be out. I enjoyed school and took it seriously as a job, but I love the autonomy of making my own money and my own decisions so much more once school was behind me.
* Regrets, I have a few, but then again, too few to mention but I’m going to mention them anyway: dropping my 9th grade science class because I was afraid to fail; not living at college; not having sex before I got married; not seeing more concerts in my 20s before all of the acts I like broke up, died, or became so successful that tickets today are a significant fraction of my mortgage/rent; not being more adventurous in travel
Enjoy your weekend! Weather permitting, we’re headed to the NJ Ren Faire! It’s our first time back since before Covid. It’s nice to be out and about again.
Good news! If you’re a regular reader but forget to check in, you can subscribe to a once-a-week email with links to that week’s posts! Click here to sign up!