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5 Things ALL Girls Should Know Before Graduation (For A WAY Better Life)

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graduation life advice for girls
Self

What your mom never told you.

Bright-eyed grads, just like you, are flooding into the world. With a mixture of fear and joy, they are showing up for the next phase of life.

Ready or not, here life comes.

I wish someone had told me this advice when I was graduating. It sure would have saved a lot of time and a lot of heartache.

Here are five pieces of real-life advice I wish I'd heard when I was your age. Hopefully they serve you well in the next chapter of your big, beautiful lives.

1. Keep in touch with your friends.

Wow. You’re going to need them. People drift after graduation.

Friends go to school, get jobs, leave the country, get married, have kids. The luxury of spending hours and days together evaporates when they hand you a diploma.

Despite the distance, never underestimate the power of friendships over the years. You don’t have to check in every day or even every month, maybe not every year, but life is going to hit you one day and you are going to need people who get you. You are going to want to have friends who can love you through relationships, births, grief, loss, disease and middle age.

You are going to want a tribe of people who don’t care what car you drive or how big your house is. One day you’ll feel desperately alone. These old friends will remind you that you belong.

One day you’ll feel like your heart has been ripped from your chest. These old friends will patch and prop you up. They’ll lead you through it.

One day, you’ll be cocky, acting like you’ve got the world on a string. These old friends will call you on your BS. At first, you’ll be embarrassed. Then, you’ll be grateful.

 

2. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to anyone else.

Comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to self-doubt and depression. Or worse, perfectionism.

Stop comparing yourself to others, please. Life has a million moving parts. No one’s life is perfect.

The first one married, or the best dressed, or the one who makes a million dollars doesn’t mean much in the game of life. The nicest house or the most exotic vacations don’t make anyone happy. Nothing is forever and there are no guarantees in life. A big life does not mean it is a happy life.

Love your life. Strive to be a better person each day. Love people. Share yourself. Be vulnerable. Make a couple really juicy mistakes.

Don’t think for one moment the person with the best stuff is happiest. They aren’t.

Conversely, don’t feel sorry for the poor artist who is eating ramen and following her dreams.

Keep your eyes on your own goals. Dream big.

 

3. Forget all the garbage your parents told you.

Parents mean well, but they are human.

You are old enough to start questioning your belief systems. Did you have a mother who told you never to trust men? How about you re-think that idea and instead focus on all the trustworthy men out there.

Did your dad tell you rich people cannot be trusted? It is going to be very hard to make and keep money if you don’t wrestle that belief to the ground.

Does your family pride itself in being suspicious of anyone who is different from you? Were you raised with a religion that encourages hate? Is there an unwritten rule that you need to stay small and not get too big for your britches?

Question it all. The sooner you throw out the outdated stuff your parents told you to try to ‘keep you safe’, the better.

Have the courage to think for yourself. A lot of what your parents told you is crap.

 

4. Save yourself (and everyone around you) a lot of wasted time by learning to accept yourself, even the shameful parts.

I know, I know. You’ve done some pretty wretched things.

You’ve thought some things, said some things, done some things. You didn’t speak up when you should have. You are convinced parts of you are unlovable. Get over it. You’re not perfect. People still love you anyway.

The sooner you can accept yourself, even the parts of you you are ashamed of, the sooner you can be truly happy.

Perfectionists, pleasers, workaholics, braggarts, over-achievers and needy people are forever self-sabotaging their happiness. They push people away trying to overcompensate for their imperfections. Let yourself off the hook. Please. 

Why waste your one shot at life beating yourself up? Self-loathing doesn’t make you a better person. Denying yourself joy doesn’t make you a better person.

Save yourself and the people who love you a lifetime of heartache. Forgive yourself. Accept yourself

 

5. Take care of yourself.

You can’t feed your brain on a steady diet of memes and reality TV and expect to feel good about yourself.

Instant gratification will leave you feeling hollow and alone one day. Shore up your boundaries. Without boundaries, you're beholden to everyone and everything that diverts your attention. It is going to get old, trust me. 

Downtrodden, pessimistic victim isn't a good look. 

Learn to say 'no'. Hold yourself to a high standard. Keep learning. Don’t be afraid to love. Eat a vegetable or two. Unplug. Drink more water. Go for a walk. Be vulnerable. Be kind. Be grateful. Get some sleep. Wear sunscreen. Watch a documentary. Listen to live music. Buy art. Call your mom. 

Your big new life awaits, and the future is wide open for you. 

 

T-Ann Pierce is a transformational coach who helps people love their lives. Wondering where to even start to forgive yourself? Thinking it is time to get some boundaries? Would you love to stop feeling not good enough? Contact T-Ann at 847.730.7531. Life is too short to feel tangled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five things I wish I knew before I graduated.

 

It’s that time of the year again when bright eyed grads are unleashed into the world. Half elation, half fear they show up for the next phase of life. Here are the things I wish someone had told me when I left school decades ago. It sure would have saved a lot of heart ache.

 

Keep in touch with your friends. Wow. You’re going to need them. People drift after graduation. Friends go to school, get jobs, leave the country, get married, have kids. The luxury of spending hours and days together evaporates when they hand you a diploma. Despite the distance, never underestimate the power of friendships over the years. You don’t have to check in every day or even every month, maybe not every year, but life is going to hit you one day and you are going to need people who get you. You are going to want to have friends who can love you through relationships, births, grief, loss, disease and middle age. You are going to want a tribe of people who don’t care what car you drive or how big your house is. One day you’ll feel desperately alone. These old friends will remind you you belong. One day you’ll feel like your heart has been ripped from your chest. These old friends will patch and prop you up. They’ll lead you through it. One day, you’ll be cocky, acting like you’ve got the world on a string. These old friends will call you on your BS. At first, you’ll be embarrassed. Then, you’ll be grateful.

 

 

Please don’t waste your time comparing. Comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to self-doubt and depression. Or worse, perfectionism. Stop comparing yourself to others, please. Life has a million moving parts. No one’s life is perfect. The first one married or the best dressed or the one who makes a million dollars, doesn’t mean much in the game of life. The nicest house or the most exotic vacations don’t make anyone happy. Nothing is forever and there are no guarantees in life. A big life does not mean it is a happy life. Love your life. Strive to be a better person each day. Love people. Share yourself. Be vulnerable. Make a couple really juicy mistakes. Don’t think for one moment the person with the best stuff is happiest. They aren’t. Conversely, don’t feel sorry for the poor artist who is eating ramen and following her dreams. Keep your eyes on your own goals. Dream big.

 

Forget all the garbage your parents told you. Parents mean well, but they are human. You are old enough to start questioning your belief systems. Did you have a mother who told you never to trust men? How about you re-think that idea and instead focus on all the trustworthy men out there. Did your dad tell you rich people cannot be trusted? It is going to be very hard to make and keep money if you don’t wrestle that belief to the ground. Does your family pride itself in being suspicious of anyone who is different from you? Were you raised with a religion that encourages hate? Is there an unwritten rule that you need to stay small and not get too big for your britches? Question it all. The sooner you throw out the outdated stuff your parents told you to try to ‘keep you safe’, the better. Have the courage to think for yourself. A lot of what your parents told you is crap.

 

Accept yourself, especially the shameful parts. I know, I know. You’ve done some pretty wretched things. You’ve said some things that were cruel. You didn’t speak up when you should have. You learned in childhood that there are parts of you that are unlovable, that are shameful. Get over it. You’re not perfect. People still love you anyway. The sooner you can accept yourself warts and all, the sooner you can move on to the business of truly being happy, having great relationships and being a truly great friend and parent. Perfectionists, pleasers, workaholics, braggarts, over-achievers and needy people have seriously less fun than those people who accept themselves for who they are and move forward with confidence. Let yourself off the hook, already. Why waste your one shot at life beating yourself up? Self-loathing doesn’t make you a better person. Denying yourself joy doesn’t make you a better person. Save yourself and the people who love you a lifetime of heartache. Forgive yourself. Love yourself.

 

Take care of yourself. You can’t feed your brain on a steady diet of memes and reality TV and expect to feel good about yourself. Pornography, friends-with-benefits and series of meaningless partners will eventually leave you hollow. Shore up your boundaries. Without boundaries, every aspect of your life becomes a drag. Downtrodden, pessimistic victims aren’t easy to live with. Blame doesn’t look good on anyone. Get a grip. Hold yourself to a high standard. Keep learning. Don’t be afraid to love. Eat a vegetable or two. Put down the fork. Go for a walk. Become a warrior of gratitude. Get some sleep. Wear sunscreen. Watch a documentary. Listen to live music. Buy art. Call your mom.

 

T-Ann Pierce is a transformational coach who helps people love their lives. Wondering where to even start to forgive yourself? Thinking it is time to get some boundaries? Would you love to stop feeling not good enough? Contact T-Ann at 847.730.7531. Life is too short to feel tangled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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