Welcome to what, for the majority of you, is the greatest day of your life so far. Graduating high school is a notable accomplishment. You have officially concluded all of the education the state mandates you to complete and let me be the one to break it to you, you don’t know shit.

They let you down. They let me down too.

You no doubt understand calculus, how to balance chemical equations, what happened at the War of 1812, and how to source using MLA Format. All of which I haven’t used since I finished college. The stuff you really need to know, such as budgeting, money management, insurance, investing, taxes, and how to make lasagna, they never tell you.

Be sure to remember all of those trigonometric functions though, it’s a prerequisite for a home loan.

Things are about to change for you. The majority of the friends you have now will be replaced by new friends. Some of them will find love and disappear, some will move away, some will rush a frat and turn into a douche wagon, and some will do meth. The real world changes people and it will change you too. If you don’t believe me, look at Miley Cyrus.

You are about to enter a world of possibilities. Don’t let people fool you into believing that a four year college is the only path to financial success. College is indubitably beneficial but people like Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell would tell you it’s not the only way. I think you’ll be excited to know how much money a degree in art and crafts doesn’t make. If that’s the path you want to take, that’s great, do you cuz, just don’t get confused when you leave school and don’t find a job cranking six digits in your bank account.

I’m not implying money is a measurement of success or happiness. Life is tough without it, but it doesn’t define success. I know people making money hand over fist that are miserable and I know people who scrape by and are living their best life.

I challenge you to find me a picture of a miserable man on a yacht though…

I once heard a story about a lady who wanted to grow up to gas beers and rip cigs. Today, she’s doing just that. You may look at her with distaste, but she’s living her dream and that’s a success story if I’ve ever heard one.

The best advice I can give you moving forward is chase your dreams. I hate when someone settles in life. Life is way too wild to settle into a career or life that makes you want to play in traffic.

Maybe your dream is to write for a blog that gets little traffic. We are hiring, ya know?

Congratulations on graduating, Class of 2018. Don’t let this be the highlight of your life.