Listener Wisdom for the Class of 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

The 2011 East River Academy high school graduation at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

It's that time of year when students say goodbye to their school days and hello to life outside the classroom. And we asked you, our listeners: What wise words do you remember hearing as a young person, or what wise words do yo want to share with the graduating class of 2013?

Your wisdom has been pouring in. Many of you have pragmatic advice to share:

Eddie from Texas says:

"My advice for any graduate going into the workforce: whatever you do, if you do it for 8 hours a day, make sure that you do it well."

Nicky from Long Island says:

"My advice is kind of boring for the kids graduating today: work hard, of course, but mainly think about the future and make a little bit of a plan for your life."

And a listener from Florida says:

"My advice to new grads to prepare them for the real world is that they need to put aside a lot of the stuff that they learned in school and adapt that information to the real world."

More than a few of you had money advice, but your money advice varied widely.

A listener from San Antonio says:

"Take an easy, simplistic accounting class and learn how to budget your money."

Lindsay from Dallas says: 

"My advice to new grads is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and have less money than you. The comparison will always keep you humble and out of debt."

And Chiam in New York says: 

"To all those graduates, congratulations. It's important to remember to be happy and live life. Money and life are different things. both are needed but keep them separate. have a great day and good luck.”

Sadly, a few of you called in with advice that stung with bitterness:

Nelson from Miami says:

"Number one: College is not the real world. Number two: The real work place is a cruel and self-centered place. Number three: Now get ready to pay back those student loans and welcome to the real world."

But most of you had advice that sounded hopeful, and for that we're grateful!

Anna from Oklahoma writes:

"I graduated last May. So I would just like to let recent graduates know to not rush into your career. It's still hard to find a job these days and enjoy your time while you can, there's plenty of time to work."

Share your advice for this year's graduates on twitter with #GRADWISDOM.

Produced by:

Jay Cowit

Comments [2]

Barb from Kansas City

oh, I remember my college commencement speech as if it was yesterday not 35 years ago — can't remember the guy's name but he was the then head of the NIA — and I was graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute — for which my parents had spent a lot of money in those times.
He started by throwing his prepared speech over his shoulder and saying "This is what I really want to say to you. Artists are the Niggers of the World..." I did miss the next few sentences as the blood rushed in my years and the Dean of Students sitting next to me dug her fingernails into my arm.
Sadly what he meant was to "expect to earn less than you think"... which for me has been true: many jobs I made less than the janitor.
(after about a minute more I did hiss to the Dean of students to "hook him!" and she ran up on the stage and did drag him off!) We all had a lot of explaining to do to parents.

May. 24 2013 03:47 PM

This is Water by David Foster Wallace

May. 24 2013 01:42 PM

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