COLUMN: Oh heck, I'll go ahead and offer my advice to graduates

The world is being overloaded with advice from people who think they know what graduates need to know.
May 11, 2012

The world is being overloaded with advice from people who think they know what graduates need to know.
Well, I do too, but my advice really is good for everyone facing situations for the first time.
So for all you folks heading out in the world for the first time, here’s some sound advice for you.
1. Watch your mom do laundry. Look your boyfriend or girlfriend, wife, roommate or boss may be well intentioned but nobody does your laundry like your mother. Learn how she does it and your clothes will feel and smell the same as if your mother washed them. And you know, when times are tough, that’s a wonderful thing.
2. Times will get tough. We all go through them. My advice, which is not politically correct, is to get tougher than what you are going through. To quote Winston Churchill, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
3. Get involved in a church. By this I mean don’t just go on Sunday, but get involved. Find a small group and become active. Yes, you will meet and experience God and that’s a wonderful thing, but you’ll also make some of the best friends you’ll ever encounter. That Winston Churchill quote? These friends will help you through it.
4. Don’t forget your roots. Whether you love Wilson County or hate Wilson County, it is not as great or as horrible as you think. But one thing is for certain; It is home. It is your roots, your heritage, and part of who you are. Represent it well.
5. Read the Bible to learn about relationships. Billy Graham once said he daily reads Proverbs to learn about relationships with other people and Psalms to learn how to have a relationship with God. Both books have amazing advice, whether you believe or not.
6. Rock out, kick your boots up, or whatever you do. Embrace your favorite music and don’t let it go. Rush is my favorite band. If I’m having a bad day, they make me feel better. If I’m having a good day they enhance the celebration. Your favorite band can do the same for you.
7. When you are doing a rescue on a sinking boat, and the Chief screams “get the (explicative) out of dodge,” it is time to leave. The point here is there are people who will have more experience and/or education than you. You may know a lot, but it pays to listen to them and learn from them. While in the Coast Guard, I had a chief I did not like. However, those six words, while I was working to keep a sinking fishing boat afloat, probably saved my life. The simple fact? His experience allowed him to see something my inexperience didn’t.
8. Talk to kids. Not just your kids, but your friends’ children, nieces, nephews and any other little ones that are a part of your life. They are bombarded with more garbage than they should have to handle. Be the calm in the storm and the one adult they can always count on.
9. Find something you enjoy for a career. Look, you will spend, at minimum, 40 hours a week for the rest of your life doing it, so you better make sure it is something you enjoy. That is wise advice from my father.
10. Angry at your parents? Get over it. If your parents are any good, they will hold you accountable. They will set you straight. And they will call you on the carpet. However, you also won’t find bigger cheerleaders or stronger supporters anywhere on the planet.
My final piece of advice is this: choose your spouse wisely and carefully. I took my time and the difference has been monumental. Related, don’t shack up. If he or she is worth living with, then he or she is worth the commitment of marriage. If they aren’t worth the commitment of marriage, get out of their house or
You may call Clay Morgan at 444-3952, ext. 13, or on his cell at 615-670-6989. His email address is


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