Granules for Graduates, 2014 edition

Dear Grads,

I now have spent more years not under my parents’ roof than under it. That makes me twice your age and doubly qualified to offer this unsolicited advice. I know you’ve been waiting for it!

  1. Get a tattoo – in a place where only a very few people will ever, ever see it. Big tattoos shrink the pool of people who will one day hand you money.
  2. Caffeine is the accepted drug of the age. Don’t get hooked. If you need it a lot, your life is out of balance.
  3. Don’t smoke cigarettes. People will think you can’t read. And don’t smoke e-cigs. I don’t care how clean they are, they reek of restlessness.
  4. You’ve been told you can do anything. You can’t. Work your tail off discovering a few things you do well that you also enjoy.
  5. Don’t stall out trying to find the exact school, major, job or mate. There are many right ways to maneuver through life and only a few wrong ones. Just keep moving.
  6. Wherever you work, create. People who create things are more valuable to employers than people who don’t. In other words, you’ll get paid more.
  7. Budgeting is simply deciding where your dollars will go before you spend them. Start budgeting while you have little and it will be easier when you have much – and you WILL have much – if you budget.
  8. Learn to say no. Responsible people will always be in demand. Never be afraid to forego an opportunity if it takes you off your focus.
  9. Time, not money or geography, is the greatest limiting factor of our age. Treat it as your most valuable asset.
  10. Don’t over-schedule. Notice the rhythms of the earth. God created days, months and seasons. Humans created seconds, minutes and hours, often to our detriment.
  11. Go to bed before you’re exhausted and without the TV blaring or the iPhone buzzing. Someone may speak to you.
  12. You are not alone, nor will you ever be. The One who made you loves you. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you.
  13. The people you spend time with will shape who you become. Choose wisely. Screen carefully.
  14. The music you listen to will also shape who you become. Don’t assume the “artist” on the other end has a good plan for your life.
  15. When in doubt, end the relationship. If it’s quality or meant to be, it will come back around.
  16. Sex is not for entertainment. It forms a bond that lasts forever, and it creates children whose lives last forever.
  17. You are responsible for yourself. No qualifiers. No matter what you did or didn’t do, no matter what anyone else did or didn’t do, you are still responsible…for yourself.
  18. You are not responsible for others. People will want you to be responsible for them because they lack the maturity to be responsible for themselves. Don’t give in. It will make you miserable.
  19. With mature people, give and forgive. It will make you happy.
  20. In the end, your life will be judged by how you relate to others. To God, your family, your friends, your enemies, yourself. Relate well and you will have lived well.

Kevin Thompson writes weekly for The Boerne Star. He can be reached at

5 Responses to “Granules for Graduates, 2014 edition”

  1. 1 James Kennell May 7, 2014 at 23:07

    Very well said. Simple rules to follow.

  2. 2 jessestroup May 8, 2014 at 12:47

    Kevin, You wrap the wisdom you offer in humor and humility.  That is very tasteful.  How do you find out who is reading your column?  Many must be or they would not ask you to continue writing.  I surely like it. Jesse

      Jesse R. Stroup Director of Spiritual Care Lifeline Chaplaincy 511 N. Akard suite 202 Dallas, TX 75201

  3. 3 jessestroup May 8, 2014 at 14:20

    This just happened.  In the eating area of my office a guy who is graduating from Perkins Theological Seminary this May came to me asking,  “How do you know what the will of God is?”  We talked a short while then I printed your latest article for Graduates and gave it to him.  So THANKS AGAIN! Your proud Pappa-in-law, Jesse

      Jesse R. Stroup Director of Spiritual Care Lifeline Chaplaincy 511 N. Akard suite 202 Dallas, TX 75201

  4. 4 Jim Grier May 8, 2014 at 14:24

    Kevin, tatoo? I think the bible is apposed.
    I love the rest!!

  5. 5 mrdonnigeria May 8, 2014 at 20:15

    It truly speaks to everyone

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