May 17, 2013

Spot On Advice

SALT LAKE CITY — I have been asked to re-post some advice I gave to graduates several years ago. Apparently in the three years since that article came out on KSL.com I have been deemed old and wise – I am just guessing at the order. Thanks for remembering, and here it is: Good things to know when handed a diploma Commencements are fresh in the air like lilacs in the garden or aerosol spray cologne in a high school boys locker room. High school convocations statewide are spewing forth youngsters who are ready to start taking on the world and stop taking out the garbage. I see all these young-lings after school — looking tall, impossibly thin, and a little naive — and I wish to offer them some heartfelt advice. I do this out of concern because I don’t want The Hope of the World to take as long as I did to come up with a few of life’s basics. Keep your teeth clean. You will want them later. Tanning is nice in moderation. However, burn yourself now and your skin will look like a pita pocket in 20 short years. Consider getting all the education you can. Remember getting good grades and getting an education are not always synonymous. When adults make a suggestion, it may be because they were once wearing your same Adidas. Shoe styles change, but feelings and the experiences are often the same. Old people get it; they just don’t care about it. White socks with their dress pants? We know it looks silly … yet we don’t care. Everyone is beautiful when young. I was stunning. My high school photo becomes more stunning the older I get. Sag your pants now and over the summer if you must, and remember the older you get the less people want to see your underwear. This is unless you become a professional pants sagger: like a rapper or an underwear model. Please don’t become a rapper or an underwear model. Good is better than evil because it is nicer. Wearing what everyone else wears, saying what everyone else says and thinking like everyone else thinks is not all it’s cracked up to be. Dare to be rare. But don’t dare so hard that you forget who you are for all the “being different.” Grow your hair long while you can. In five years you won’t want to, and in 10 you won’t be able to. In 20, you will not remember where you put it. Go with your gut — unless your gut says to drink and drive or use drugs. Then tell your gut to keep a lid on it. Feed the dog and do your chores. This is less advice and more of a request, really. Start the day with something you don’t want to do but has to be done. This is maturity in action. Find something you believe in and then believe in it with all your heart. Not believing in anything takes a lot of energy of which you will have less and less. Acting is better than reacting, unless you are choosing a career in the arts, and then react your way to a degree in computer science or anything un-artsy. Parents always deserve respect, even when we turn off your music and put on the Steve Miller Band or Captain and Tennille. While we are speaking of parents, know we want you to have fun, but not too much fun. We want you to look hot, but not too hot. We love you and want you to do well and are a little afraid you will get hurt unless we are there to buffer or give advice, or you won’t be part of our lives when you are gone. We will refrain from saying we told you so even though we did tell you so because you will not remember we actually told you so until you are at least 35. Then you will write a book of pithy sayings for teens, and buy us a Winnebago – at which point we will be even. You are welcome back anytime you need a break or to do your laundry. We will miss not having to look for the remote and the car keys, as well as the sound of the microwave. Have a wonderful life. And please, don’t stick around just to please us. We will be in the Winnebago. - Davison Cheney

1 comment:

SupaFlowaPowa said...

LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEEEE this is awesome and so well written!!! I wish I had this when I graduated. It's kinda funny how the older you get, the more you realize oh.. my parents were right.. oh. Man, I feel so old now yet hs doesn't feel that long ago!