Romer: Annual unsolicited advice to graduates
Congratulations to all our high school and Colorado Mountain College graduates. Never has it been more true that life is an adventure, and you are navigating paths that others have not. Regardless of your next steps, the following advice might help you succeed in your new endeavors.
- Empathy is a superpower.
- Being liked isn’t always possible.
- Make your parents proud of how happy you are.
- Be a voice for love and hope.
- Disagree without being disagreeable.
- Put people first.
- Never stop learning.
- Relationships matter.
- It’s OK to make mistakes; it’s what you do next and how you learn from them that really matters.
- Dream big.
- Talk about and debate serious issues, but remain cordial when disagreeing.
- Be engaged in your community.
- Spend your time and money on experiences.
- Being truly sustainable requires a focus on social and economic opportunities in addition to an environmental focus.
- During some of the most testing times, a sense of humor is important.
- Pick a good boss.
- Work hard.
- Be patient.
- Listen to your head, but trust your gut.
- Start saving for retirement now and contribute monthly.
- Work for a company that values your results, not the time spent at your desk.
- Establish your personal tone in your communications.
- Being busy is not a badge of honor.
- Learn to read financial statements (profit and loss and balance sheets).
- Use your vacation time.
- Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously.
- Really think about it before using “reply all.”
- Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
- Be thoughtful and deliberate, not impulsive.
- ______________ probably isn’t the worst (politician, development, thing) in the world (although you can currently make a compelling case for COVID-19).
- ______________ probably isn’t the best (politician, development, thing) in the world.
- Embrace the pause; it allows you to get your emotions under control.
- Surround yourself with people who bring you up.
- Read new things to help expand your horizons.
- Hope is not a strategy.
- Emotional intelligence is as important as technical skills.
- Nothing important really gets accomplished without collaboration and compromise.
- Being nice is an undervalued skill.
- Base your self-esteem on how much good you do for other people in the course of a day. Beauty, talent, and even intelligence are things that can be taken away from you. Kindness cannot.
Congratulations and best of luck to all our students in your next endeavor. I have confidence that you’ll do great things.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at www.vailvalleypartnership.com.
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