Just Jay Blog

Advice to Graduates

Bethel Student at Commencement

A few weeks ago Barb and I did a talk in Heritage Hall on the topic “Advice to Seniors.” As we celebrate a great graduating class, we wanted to share our talking points with a larger audience. Most of the class of 2012 started at Bethel when we started our role as Bethel’s presidential couple. They get to graduate and we get to stay—and we’re all happy about that! Here is what we gave as advice:

  1. Don’t do life alone. Always surround yourself with a small group of friends who can speak truth and love into your life.
  2. Grow your faith. Have good input from Scripture, Christian authors, etc.
    1. Be disciplined about church attendance and involvement
    2. Have at least one non-believer you can be praying for
    3. Let your faith show in word and deed
  3. Marriage and singleness. Don’t be pressured into marriage.
    1. If single, remain sexually pure
    2. If you marry, make your marriage a priority
  4. Enjoy your flexibility. In next 5 years or so, you will have the most freedom you will ever have. Do something out of the ordinary that grows your heart, your view of the world, and your view of God.
  5. Don’t spend more than you earn.
    1. Differentiate between needs and wants
    2. Learn to delay gratification
    3. Eliminate debt
  6. Live simply. Think “Ford not BMW” in your purchases.
    1. Try shopping at a thrift store
    2. Enjoy nature/creation—most outdoor activities are free or close to it
    3. Get a library card
  7. Give to others.
    1. Help Bethel improve its ranking in US News and other surveys—if all alumni gave $10/year it would make a huge difference
    2. Give your time to something that matters to God’s agenda in the world
  8. Maintain health. Everything is downhill from now
    1. Eat wisely. What would your grandparents have eaten? Not sugars, sodas, processed food
    2. Exercise and get enough sleep
    3. See your doctor and dentist on recommended schedules. Do breast self-exams, testicular self-exams, and floss.
  9. Learn to be content.
  10. Develop an attitude of thankfulness and kindness. Thank people who do unglamorous jobs that make your life better. Don’t be a stingy tipper.
  11. Forgive. We all need it!
  12. Sabbath rest. It’s not just a commandment, it is good life advice.

Don’t forget to come back for Homecoming! We are thankful for you and we’ll miss you!