Hey Class of 2020!
So, they are gathering advice to give to you from our staff. I’m no expert nor have I lived a crazy life, but… I do have 30 years on you so I must be able to pass on something. Here are a few things that come to mind:
- Leave. Get out of Camas and live on your own if you can. If you are unable to do it this summer, then try to in a year or so. Having to rely on yourself for literally everything from laundry, meals and keeping your head screwed on straight is a life lesson you can really only learn by leaving. Feel free to come back (insert smile) but to really grow, you need to leave. Some of you have had to grow way more than others and are closer to knowing who you are and what you stand for. That is rare and very good, even in the worst circumstances.
- Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. I know you’ve been told this and this is not something that is nurtured and talked about as much as it should be. I remember bouncing checks and paying bank penalties in my young adult life. That was a financial mistake at the time but, hey, I learned my lesson early on and it wouldn’t have hurt as much if I hadn’t have lived it. I haven’t made that mistake again. Someone told me once that if you sat down to talk to someone for an afternoon and that someone had lived a perfect life, you would get up and leave. I know I would. That person has nothing to teach me. I want to sit down with someone who made mistakes, had crazy adventures, made it through hard times and can tell me what they learned. These people are deep and have layers that make them interesting … and human.
- Last but not least, and I’m going to tear up writing this: My hope is that you can always look yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you are. I say that because you will make mistakes (see #2), but what you do with them is what is going to build layers to the adult human you become. You have to live with yourself for your whole life. So, because of that, be your own best friend. Take care of yourself. Love yourself. Make the world a better place than where you found it the prior week. There are people in your life whether it be family, close friends or strangers you have yet to meet that are looking forward to having you shape their lives. Your life is just beginning. This is not the end. Your adventure starts now as an adult to stand up taller, take a deep breath, and figure out what you want to do with your life. Surround yourself with people who build you up and believe in you.
I’m genuinely looking forward to hearing throughout the years how you are all doing and what impact you decided to make on the world. Thank you for being part of my life and I hope our paths cross again.
Mrs. Leighton 😊