Good Advice for Graduates: Dr. Seuss, the Real World & Moving Cheese…

Last month students here at the College of William & Mary graduated & this week many Williamsburg seniors will graduate from high school.  Right now these young people are headed out into the Real World (or enjoying a break before More Education.) Whatever the case may be… change is on the horizon.

Leaving the security of home & stepping out into the Real World can be daunting.  Good Advice is always helpful. Even if you’re already out there (i graduated a few years ago; maybe ‘a few’ should be clarified as ‘a few more than a few,’) Good Advice is, well, GOOD ADVICE. Helpful & welcome, even if we resist a little, maybe one day it might permeate our arrogant be-all-do-all-can’t-make-a-mistake hides!

So today here are three books with Good Advice that have helped Virginia (the person, not the state) cope in the Real World.  Very short, easy reads (& possible graduation gifts for your graduatees : )  I still take them out to read now & then (‘taking Good Advice to heart’) & recommend them highly to you.

Dr. Seuss: Oh, the Places You’ll Go   My sister Shere gave me this gift after university graduation – a short, hilarious (yet seriously serious) treasured book these many years.  Who knows the places life takes us as we start ‘happening’ – through ‘bang-ups’ & ‘hang-ups’ & through the Slumps, confusing mazes & waiting phases & living all alone in sometimes the dumps.  What i so appreciate about Dr. Seuss wisdom: Life isn’t just about success, but finding our way to & through the places we go, balancing the tricky parts as we ‘happen.’

Sage advice for all of us as we continue ‘going places’ (even 20+ years after graduation, there are still places we can go, if we ‘get on our way’) & every page has great advice for you graduates as you start out on your way…

Maria Shriver: Ten Things I Wish I’d Known – Before I Went Out into the Real World  Years ago when asked to give the commencement address at the College of Holy Cross, TV journalist Maria Shriver reluctantly agreed & then knocked out a Home Run speech that she turned into this little book.  Sprinkled throughout with humor & lively anecdotes, these 10 short lessons for graduates are Good Advice for all. Pinpoint your passion. Find opportunities. “Starting at the bottom is not about humiliation. It’s about humility…”  (You have to start somewhere!) The importance of cultivating mentors (SO true!), facing the consequences of our behavior, the willingness to fail (‘FAILING IS PART OF LEARNING’), on love & the importance of laughter (“it’s the one that makes the other nine doable…”)  All lessons Maria Shriver learned (often the Hard Way) in Real Life that you can know now (before More Hard Stuff!)

Reading this book a few years ago made me really laugh (Out Loud) but then i was seriously zapped by the honest, heart-felt advice from Maria Shriver (you may think, gee, she’s so successful, a Kennedy & all that, how to relate?) These lessons come from her heart – the heart of a woman driven by passion for her family, her work & her world.

I then ran out to find copies for my nieces (& other, older friends too!) You’ll want to know & share these 10 Things.  Trust me – they’re Really Good Advice for you graduates to think about (& even, gasp, folks over 40!) living in the Real World.

Spencer Johnson, M.D.: Who Moved My Cheese?  My sister also gave me this book after grad school  that i pull out every so often (& have given MANY copies away.) If you haven’t read it, you’re in for a treat (! cheese – get it?! : )  First of all, i absolutely ADORE cheese & so totally relate to the mice (Sniff & Scurry) & the little people (Hem & Haw) in this short parable-ish story who search for cheese, find it (enjoy it) & then must keep their jogging shoes handy when The Supply runs Low.  We all face change (‘they keep moving the cheese‘) & graduation is a time of transition & change – from family, friends, the security of what’s comfortable-ish (school is not always easy, but is basically Known) – into Something New (& the relatively Unknown.)

As you graduates move on, adapting to change is important:”The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese.”

Over the years i have found this little book incredibly helpful during times of transition. Professionally & personally (relationships are also dynamic & require investment of time & creative energy to ‘grow together’) this book offers Great Advice for graduates (& all of us) as we change & face the changing challenges of Moving Cheese.

These three book-packaged gems offer Good Advice: the challenge for you graduates (& for us oldies-out-in-the Changing-Real-World) is to USE IT!!

Move with the Cheese, apply your Passion … all the places you’ll go!”

grace, peace & moving (Real World) cheese

Virginia :  )

p.s. i got a little side-tracked today reading Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel’s) biography- it makes his books so meaningful… www.seussville.com 

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2 Responses to Good Advice for Graduates: Dr. Seuss, the Real World & Moving Cheese…

  1. jaymers says:

    I love the first two of those books–and I haven’t read the third. Great suggestions!

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