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Pay attention, Class of 2013

OPINION

(John Walker/Fresno Bee/MCT )
May 08, 2013|By Scott Bolohan, @scottbolohan | For RedEye

Another school year is coming to an end, and once again I wasn't asked to give a commencement speech. What a shame, because most speakers are boring and useless. Attention Toni Morrison, Al Gore and the other big-name commencement speakers—here is some advice college graduates can actually use. Feel free to borrow these tips.

>>No one cares about stories from your frat or sorority other than people from your frat or sorority.

>>Take advantage of any discounts your student ID allows for as long as possible. There are not many perks about being young and poor. This is one.

>>Your current relationship probably won't last—and that's a good thing. In the next few years you will change more than you have your entire life—and that's also a good thing.

>>That said, dating is the worst, so good luck.

>>You will struggle. You will fail. You will think you are doing everything wrong. Everyone feels like this, and I'm not sure it ever goes away.

>>Don't be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs it. I'm pretty sure the key to life is empathy. People will help you. Talk to friends. Talk to your family. Trying to improve is nothing to be embarrassed about.

>>Stop watching so many YouTube videos. For real.

>>You are younger than you think. Don't panic when you turn 23 and your life isn't where you wanted it to be. Or at 24. Or for a long time.

>>The world is full of terrible people. Don't spend time with them.

>>No one's life is the "Big Pimpin' " video.

>>You may never get your dream job. Or it may change completely from what you thought it was. Multiple times.

>>You don't know all that much about the world and you will do stupid things. Two weeks ago, I flew to L.A. for a girl who, it turns out, has a boyfriend. I told a MacArthur genius grant winner about this. He said he did that once too.

>>If you are going to pay $5 for a Starbucks coffee, stock up on enough Equal packets to make it worth it. No one will stop you. I promise.

>>College wasn't the best time of your life unless you let it be. You have so much freedom now. Travel! The world is only as big as what you've seen.

>>Who you know is more important than people will admit.

>>There is too much emphasis on what job you get, what you produce—as if that solely defines you. "What do you do?" is the first question we ask people when we meet them. What matters so much more is who you are. Enjoy life.

Scott Bolohan is a RedEye special contributor.

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