GUEST VIEW: A few words of advice for the Class of 2018

By State Rep. Brooks Landgraf

To the Class of 2018, I offer the following message:

Congratulations, graduates! This is such an exciting time, and you deserve all the good the world has to offer. As you make your way into the next chapter of your lives, it is my hope that you will take with you the things you have learned from teachers, family, and friends. Whether you’re headed to community college, a four-year University, trade or technical school, the military, or out into the workforce, remember these things:

Call your Mom and Dad — They have dried tears, bandaged skinned knees, played school bus driver, hosted sleepovers, gone through hundreds of flashcards and multiplication tables, and have tirelessly loved every minute of it. It is easy to get caught up in the fast pace of life, but stop for a minute to visit with your folks, or others who’ve guided you through your journey. Remember that while you are living your life on your own, they are learning how to let you go.

Be involved — Get involved in clubs and organizations at school. Rush a fraternity or sorority. Play on an intermural sports team. Run for student council. Work for a campaign. Volunteer. Give back. By doing so you’ll be building your résumé, making friends you’ll keep for the rest of your life, and contributing to society in a meaningful way.

It’s okay to change your mind — Maybe you want to change your major or even switch your career at some point. Apply for a lot of jobs, even the ones you think you’re not qualified for — you might be. Try lots of things in your pursuit of success until you find your passion.

It’s OK to make mistakes — You will undoubtedly make mistakes throughout your life. Failure is normal. Faults make you human. Your mistakes do not define you. Turn each misstep into a learning experience, and each challenge into an opportunity. The only real failure is not picking yourself back up after a mistake.

Never stop learning — Whether this is the end of your formal education or you go to school for the next 10 years working on a doctorate degree, don’t stop chasing the opportunity to learn. There is always something to learn, and most of the time it’s not found on the pages of a book.

God bless Texas!