young man holding diplomaIt’s the time of the year when students are packing up their books, cleaning out their lockers, saying goodbye to friends and looking forward to summer fun. For those students who are graduating, whether it’s from high school or university, it can be a time of anticipation, excitement, trepidation and anxiety. Graduation brings about life altering changes. Decisions must be made and paths are forged.

At this time of both endings and beginnings, I’m going to borrow an excerpt from a book entitled “Dumbing Down our Kids” by educator Charles J. Sykes which includes a list of eleven things you did not learn in school but will directly affect your future success.  While originally a commentary on the American Public School system, these rules are bang on when trying to impart how a politically correct, feel-good society is not an actual reality and by not living by these rules you are setting yourself up for failure. So, as a tribute to our graduates, I’m reminding you of these ever important, real-life rules.

  • Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it!
  • Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
  • Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
  • Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
  • Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping — they called it opportunity.
  • Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
  • Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
  • Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
  • Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
  • Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
  • Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

So there you have it.  The 11 rules to live by. So congratulations to all those graduating this month. Whether it’s from pre-school, high school or college. Good luck and remember to go out there and do something remarkable!

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