Advice to the class of 2019

Let me start this column off by saying that this is not for you, the average reader of these pages. This is for your son or daughter, niece or nephew, friend or family member’s kid who just graduated from high school or college.


Well, as some of you know I’ve been teaching college for the past 15 years so I figured this would be a good time to share some advice. It’s simply a compilation of advice, sayings, and ideas I’ve picked up over the years that have served me well and could help others.

They aren’t meant to be enshrined on stone tablets, but they should be.

So, here’s my Top 10 list.

Everything happens for a reason, sometimes we just can’t figure it out right away, but eventually, you do. And you will be amazed at how the tragedy was necessary for you to triumph later.

Fear is okay. Being afraid is not. A good healthy dose of fear helps keep the stupid stuff that can ruin your future down to a bare minimum. Being afraid means you are less likely to take risks and explore new opportunities that can open lots of doors down the road.

The habits you developed here will either help or hinder you in the next phase of your life, so if you have problems with punctuality, finishing tasks on time and working well with others, I suggest you fix them, ASAP.

The only thing you are owed is to be treated with dignity and respect. And that is all you owe anybody else.

We will all make mistakes along the way. It’s called experience. The trick is to learn from your mistakes, so you don’t repeat them. Repeating mistakes and expecting a different outcome is called insanity.

Remember, learning is a lifelong process. Never stop trying to improve yourself. That will come in handy in 2050 when the androids show up to do your job. And this will be more important in 2060 when they begin their takeover of the world.

When getting your information from social media, remember, if you have to click more than three times to get to the ACTUAL story, what you’re reading is probably wrong.

Find a job that makes you happy. You will live to whatever income you make so it will never be enough, but if you love what you do for a living it is then that the paycheck is worth it. And remember to save a little for a rainy day and feel free to splurge on occasion.

Before you dismiss the advice of older people, remember, they didn’t get to be old by being stupid. There are a lot of young people lying in the ground right now who thought they knew everything.

Have a sense of humor. Be able to laugh, with others and at yourself. Life’s too short to be “mad as hell” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s not good for your health and it makes you age quicker. And watch the movie “Blazing Saddles.” It will make perfect sense once you do.

Of course, this list isn’t exclusive, and I am sure there are things that you could add or modify. One of my favorites has always been that the only people who say education doesn’t matter are usually the people who don’t have one.

But most importantly as young people begin the journey that many of us are already on, I figured a few words of advice might be in order. So, like I said at the beginning, this column was not for you it was for your graduate. Be sure to give it to them and tell them congrats.

The fun part of life is just about to begin.

Advice to the class of 2019 appeared first on

Abdul is an attorney and the editor and publisher of IndyPoltics.Org. He is also a frequent contributor to numerous Indiana media outlets. He can be reached at [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].