Beginning this month in North America and many other places around the world, students will be finishing their education and moving on. High school, secondary school, college, university, grad school -- whatever form it takes, this is a time of transition for many.

So much lies ahead! So many possibilities! And sometimes, so much uncertainty.

My sister is one of this year's graduates. Congratulations, Mary! You lasted much longer in high school than I did, but you still managed to escape early. Well done.

And congratulations to everyone else out there getting ready to say farewell to a familiar classroom and enter an unfamiliar world.

Graduates hear enough unsolicited advice from people who think they know better. Much of it is banal ("it's OK to make mistakes" -- but oh, not those mistakes) and overly cautious ("take risks" -- but make sure you have health insurance and a Roth IRA before you do).

Mine is pretty basic: everyone else is counting on you. We need you. I can't wait to see how your choices will change the world.

All of us make mistakes, sometimes big ones, so you might as well make your mistakes count for something good.

Sometimes the risky choice is doing the things the way they've always been done. Maybe even "most of the time."


Are you transitioning to something during this season? My congratulations and best wishes for the future. The next step is always more important than the last one.

Do you know a graduate? Tell them you are proud. And then allow them the space to solve the problems that you and I haven't been able to.

For everyone -- how will your choices change the world today?


Image by Amanda

About the Author

Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau travels the world and writes for a small army of remarkable people at

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