And now the next chapter begins

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It’s graduation season, which means some of your younger relatives and friends will be taking that long walk across the stage. It’s definitely time to show them some love. While money in a card, a book or even a good drink are all great ways to celebrate the milestone, there is something you have now that’s even more valuable. Experience.

As a young professional, you’re in a unique position. You’re making your way in your chosen career, transitioning into more serious relationships and traveling the world. You’re beginning to comprehend the nuances of adulting. What better gift to give someone you care about than priceless advice? Yes, they’ll hear it from their parents and elders, but it won’t be the same coming from you, someone who’s living it.

Meeting with a new grad this season? Think about what you would have liked to know when you were in his/her shoes a few short years ago, and gift them with a straight up conversation. They’ll thank you later.

Here are a few topics to consider.

1 First Job Do’s/Don’ts

Even if someone worked full-time while in school, a career is a game changer. Think about what that transition was like for you. What were some of the shifts you had to make in your approach? What worked or failed miserably?

2 Dating IRL

There is a sense of security when you’re dating someone who attends your school, due to direct accountability. You may know her/his family or friends, and worst case scenario, you have the school as a resource. When someone moves off campus to a new city, they’ll encounter total strangers from all over the world…who have no link back. Consider the things you have to be mindful of and talk it out.

3 Managing Money

Remember the first time you saw your very own adult paycheck? Think of all the things you planned to do with your money, and what you actually ended up doing. Yep.

4 Living Independently

Life after the dormitory can be a major adjustment. Less natural socializing, and a lot more bills. Consider some of the challenges you had residing on your own the first year and share what you wish you would have known or handled differently.

5 Social Drinking and Drug Use

Getting high or drunk in school is one thing. Crazy nights in the adult world sans the protection of an academic environment can lead to big problems, like serious arrests or losing your j-o-b—drug testing is real. Be brutally honest about the temptations and consequences.


There are a million more things to discuss. Be honest. Be open. Have fun.