Dear Graduates,

This season marks a significant milestone in your life, and as you step out, diploma in hand, into the world that awaits, let’s not forget this weekend also brings Mother’s Day—a perfect time to honor the rockstars who’ve had your backs since day one: your mothers.

Here’s my straight talk on thriving post-college, with a special nod to our moms who’ve taught us more than just a thing or two:

Morning Routines Are Gold

Start your day early with a morning ritual that includes fitness, eating a healthy breakfast at home, and leaving some space for your time. Morning exercise gives you focus and an increase in energy level. Yes, I know you think you are not a morning person. It may be a pain at first, but eventually, you’ll get to the point where you’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night and waking up with all your energy.

Ditch the Screens for Real Scenes

Remember how mom would insist you play outside instead of gluing your eyes to the TV? She was onto something. Engage in real-world activities and community involvement—it builds character and connections.

Commit to personal growth.

Be a Financial Olympian 

If your mom ever nagged you about saving your allowance, she was setting you up for financial success. Start stashing away part of your paycheck, avoid the debt trap, and watch your financial health skyrocket.

  • THE OS FUND – Save 10% of your gross pay each pay period in a high-yield savings account until you have a year’s gross salary. This will be your emergency savings; over the years, you will realize how important this simple step is.
  • Retirement Savings – Participate in your company’s retirement plan beginning on your first day.  Choose the ROTH Option over Pre-Tax.  Start with at least 3% and increase yearly by 1% until you contribute the maximum.  At the minimum, contribute to meet the company match – this is nothing like someone else paying you to save.
  • Credit Cards – USE CREDIT CARDS to get the points, build your credit, and stop at that point.  Pay the credit card bill IN FULL every month. Credit cards can be a cancer of your financial health, BE CAREFUL.

Never Stop Learning

Just because school is out doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Whether picking up a new skill or pursuing that master’s degree, keep pushing your limits.

Savor Your Solo Space

If you had your own room growing up, you know the drill. Cherish having your own space—it’s a luxury that teaches you a lot about yourself.

Roommates are great at helping to pay the bills. However, there is something impactful about having your own space. You will probably spend 50 years living with the same person, so having your own space for a few years will be a great memory.

Build Real, Lasting Relationships

Take your time and get to know yourself and others deeply before you dive into anything serious.

Have a real relationship and then marry, but give yourself about five years to develop as a man or woman and person- you will be grateful you took this time.

Keep It Simple and Say No When Needed

 If there’s one thing mothers are great at, it’s cutting through the clutter. Embrace that. Saying no to what doesn’t matter means you can say yes to what does.

Successful people are excellent at saying no.

Plan Like a Pro

Mom’s plan everything down to the last detail—take a leaf out of her book. A little planning today saves a ton of hassle tomorrow.

Celebrate with your Mom!

As you celebrate this significant achievement, take a moment to reflect on the invaluable lessons from the woman who likely cheered the loudest at your graduation—your mom. Her wisdom, resilience, and unconditional love have helped shape you into the graduate you are today.

Here’s to new beginnings, armed with the best advice you’ve ever received!

Congratulations once again, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the incredible moms out there!

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