Class of 2013: Start All Over!

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Habits are formed in college and dare I say it? Some of those habits are not good ones. So my advice to you today is to start all over. Dump those habits with resolve and look at life with the attitude of it’s “A Brand New Day!”

You may be asking what habits did I develop and how do I repent? Rather than focus on the bad habits, let me focus on the cure that will ensure career success and happiness. Here is the very short list:

1. Get Up Early. The habit you need to break is sleeping until the lunch bell rings. The Rack Monster needs to be killed because a day in the “real world” does not begin at 12:30 PM. The good news is that those bridge games that go until 3:00 AM are a thing of the past. I know that some of you will say that you are night owls or that you do your best work after midnight. Forget about it.

The successful people I have been around are ready to go when the rooster is crowing.

2. Second, Read! For many of you, reading in college was a chore, something that needed to be done to meet a requirement. Habits of dreading time spent reading or only doing the minimum might have been formed. Abandon that thought and start over with a renewed sense of the wonders of reading a good book. Hold on to some of those books. You may really like them once you are not being tested on them. Interesting people are successful and interesting people read.

3. Never Miss Deadlines. The days of “incompletes” until the work is done and extensions are over. Those understanding Assistant Professors who gave you extra time will stay on campus but you are not. A highly valued skill in the world that is often fudged in college is meeting deadlines. Start over with resolve that a deadline is not something to negotiate. Just meet it.

So start all over. Turn over a new leaf. Repot the plant. Turn over a new page. Begin again. There are very few times where the option is a possibility regardless of the plans you have for the future.

Learn to get up early every day, read with joy and avoid ever missing a deadline. And while you are at it, enjoy the ride.

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