Here are 20 bits of advice I wish I had been given the day I graduated!

It’s graduation season!

I remember the day I graduated from college as a moment of great joy, excitement, and optimism.

and yet….

Despite all the wonderful training I received, I was woefully unprepared to navigate the next few years of my life.

Here are 20 bits of advice I wish I had been given the day I graduated.

  1. Focus on the things you can control.

  2. Schedule time for email. Set limits.

  3. Look for opportunities to use your art to create an impact.

  4. Find a daily, 2-hour block of time for personal projects. See how far you get in a month.

  5. Find a thought partner. Have weekly discussions without an agenda.

  6. Create for at least 30 minutes every day.

  7. Continue to invest in knowledge. Enroll in that course, buy that book, hire that coach.

  8. Take time for friends and family. Everyone is lonely and a quick visit for coffee or a Zoom call goes a long way!

  9. Meditate.

  10. Find an exercise routine you enjoy and get a group of friends to join you.

  11. Finally create a budget that makes sense. Track your income.

  12. Understand your debt and come up with a plan for paying it off.

  13. Invest your first $100.

  14. Give money or time to a local non-profit organization.

  15. Financially support artists you love and share their art with your community so they can grow theirs.

  16. Purge/mute people who bring negativity to your social media feeds. This goes for in-person relationships as well.

  17. Start a blog, podcast or YouTube channel if it will advance your career. The time to start is now.

  18. Pick one social media channel and build a community.

  19. Plan a trip.

  20. Send a note of gratitude to a different, unsuspecting person every day for a month.

What would you add to this list?

Photo Credit: Pang Yuhao

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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