Don Chance's 10 Pieces of Advice for Graduating Seniors and Graduate Students

10. Don't forget your alma mater. The experience you had here has been more than simply an education of knowledge. It has been your transition from youth into adulthood. Its value far exceeds the tuition you have paid. Keep paying for it by supporting this university any way you can. Naturally dollars are welcome (make checks payable to Louisiana State University Department of Finance), but so is your time and your effort. Volunteer to help us out by serving on alumni committees. Encourage students to attend this university. Work toward encouraging your employer to hire LSU graduates.

9. Start a savings and investment plan as soon as possible. Learn as much as you can about investing. You'll be the envy of your friends and relatives. Share your knowledge with others.

8. Work hard and pursue the acquisition of wealth. It is not a sin to want to become rich. It is only a sin to hurt others while becoming rich. Wealth earned by honesty and hard work is a virtue. While acquiring that wealth you have helped others, and you can continue to help others such as by providing jobs and giving to charities. Start working toward building wealth. Live within your means. Use debt in moderation. And don't confuse income with wealth. To get you started, read the book The Millionaire Next Door. Above all, don't try to impress other people with your money.

7. Be your own person. What other people think of you is not as important as what you think of you. But set a high standard for yourself.

6. Understand that a successful marriage requires hard work. It is like a successful career. It doesn't just happen. You have to make it happen.

5. Set a good example for your children. Most of you will someday become parents. Start getting ready right now by working toward setting a good example for the children you will someday have. Don't do anything you wouldn't want them to do someday. Be a parent they can be proud of.

4. Don't forget the importance of reading. Read something interesting, something entertaining and something inspirational. In the latter category, I might suggest the Bible/Koran/Torah or something like Chicken Soup for the Soul, anything by Dr. Seuss, or the Diary of Anne Frank.

3. Never forget the Golden Rule. Appreciate and recognize others who practice it..

2. Take good care of yourself. Your health is a valuable asset. Never forget that you can lose it in an instant. But don't go around worrying about bad things happening. Things are rarely as good as they seem, but fortunately rarely as bad.

1. Never lose your honor. You can never get it back.


And one final piece of advice for everyone:

Never, ever, ever cite Wikipedia as a source.  Wikipedia is an online dictionary to which anyone can contribute.  Thus, even you can write or edit an article.  While Wikipedia does maintain some quality control and most of the articles are well-written, the authors are not necessarily experts.  Many have an agenda and occasionally inject controversial undocumented opinions into articles that seemingly appear to be fact.  You should never cite it is an authority.  In fact, you should never cite any encyclopedia as an authority.  Encyclopedias are good for getting a general overview of a subject and to that extent, Wikipedia and most other encyclopedias usually does a good job.  The problem is that if it is wrong, how would you know?  Take my advice.  Use Wikipedia only when you need something for personal information.  For anything professional, get an incontrovertible authoritative source even if it requires looking somewhere other than the Internet.

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Last updated:  January 9, 2011