Graduation: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life…That’ll be Tomorrow, Too…And the Next Day After That, etc…

Today marks a significant milestone in our family. Today, two of my sisters will graduate from the University of Florida. The family tradition continues.

Home Sweet Home

While flying home from Chicago, I got to thinking about things I wish I had known when I graduated. And then I made a list. (Shocker.) On a barf bag. (Oh, the irony…)

For "Motion Discomfort" *and* Note Taking

I will share this advice, advice in which my sisters have already heard a dozen times and which will most likely pass through one ear and out the other as quickly as they dismiss shoes, dresses, and boys. On to the next. However, just in case they happen to feel sentimental at any point, here it is:

1. You can always change your mind. Graduation marks a turning point with endings and new beginnings. That can feel daunting, I know. I’ve been there. We all have in one way or another. The good news is you can change your mind. Whatever you decide, the world will still be here tomorrow, we will still love you, and your feet will still be big. So go ahead. Make a decision. It will all be fine.

It will all be okay. I promise.

2.  There are 365 days in a year. And you have roughly 50+ years ahead of you. That’s about 18,250 days left in your life. And, of course, there are 24 hours in each of those 18,000+ days. That’s about 438,000 hours… My point? You have plenty of time. Lots and lots of glorious time. Enjoy it. I mean, don’t just sit on the couch eating bon bons, but certainly don’t fret about taking a detour or four while you’re on your way.

Plenty of Time

3.  It’s okay to make mistakes. Thanks to Adam and Eve, we’re not perfect. Try not to let the worry of making mistakes keep your feet stuck in the sand. The water is warm. I promise.

"Oops. Let's try that again," is perfectly acceptable.

4.  Travel. Take me with you. There’s a great big ol’ world out there with lots to see. Take some time to see it.

Sign this girl up, please...

5.  Come home to visit.  Tell mom I said hi.

The "other" Home Sweet Home

6.  Remember, you are loved. Sure, love doesn’t pay the bills, but it certainly helps comfort you when the first six job interviews don’t pan out so well. There’s a lot to be said for that much love. I’ll spare you. But just know, you are so very loved.

You're loved. Big time.

So, while graduation may seem a little scary,  it really is going to be fine.  I promise.  You survived (not only growing up with our parents…but also everything else…). You’re well prepared, and great, big, new adventures await you.  Go get ’em.  *And the crowd goes wild as they make their way in the world*


**Photos courtesy of,,,,,, and

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  1. Blisster May 8, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    I love you… Thank you!

  2. Rosa May 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Lauren….this is such an awesome article… are an amazing big sister and all of sisters are very lucky and blessed to have you…..everything you said is soooo true…..
    If I would have had a big sister, I would have wanted to have someone so supporting and living like you….. I love all your articles….. 😉

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