Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 5, 2013

Few words of advice

— Especially in this trying economic environment, it seems appropriate to offer a few nuggets of wisdom for those collecting high school and college diplomas.

First off, don’t panic — particularly those of you who graduate Tuesday from Indiana University Kokomo.

That first job might not pop up right away, but the economy will turn around, and opportunities will present themselves if you’re patient. In the meantime, soak up all the knowledge that comes your way.

And you soon-to-be high school graduates: Whether heading off to college, enlisting in the military or joining the workaday world, you should never stop learning.

When it comes time to choose a career, find something you love to do and do it well. If you really enjoy what you do every day, it never seems like work.

Start saving as soon as you possibly can. Put at least a small amount of every paycheck into a savings account so that when your car needs repairing or you have to fly to an out-of-state wedding, you won’t necessarily have to reach for the credit card.

Oh, and speaking of credit cards, don’t get in a hurry to sign up for one.

We know it’ll be tempting with all the offers you’ll be getting, but do your best to resist. And when you do finally relent, make sure you use the card sparingly, and do your best to pay off the balance at the end of each month.

We know that dorm-room pizza at 2 o’clock in the morning might seem like an emergency, but trust us, that credit card interest will be with you long after the heartburn is gone.

Take care of yourself. This is the only body you’re going to get, and the more you do to take care of it, the better off you’ll be in future years.

Be open to new experiences. Even though you might be sure you already know what you want to do with the rest of your life, don’t be afraid to try new things.

Don’t underestimate what you’re capable of, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We all make them. The key is to learn from the experience and try to avoid making the same mistake more than once.

Set some goals, and go after them, but don’t get so caught up in your pursuit of tomorrow that you forget to enjoy today. Take some time to enjoy the scenery, and whatever you do, have fun.