It’s hard to buy a card for a high school graduate that gives all the advice you want to pass on to the young person wearing the shiny gown and the flat hat.
There is too much we want to tell them in preparation for the rest of their lives.
Of course, by the time a young person graduates from high school, chances are that they’ve walked across the stage many times. There’s the Pre-K graduation, the 5th grade graduation, and maybe a graduation from middle school. By the time high school graduation comes around, they’ve gotten more than one congratulatory balloon bouquet with an emoji or a perrito or a star wearing a cap and gown. Welitas, madrinas and tías know this, which is why they start giving advice when the kids graduate potty training.
Saluda con abrazo, or say hi and wave, or at the very least smile. Don’t act as if you didn’t see someone just because they didn’t say hi to you first. Tie your shoes, not because it looks sloppy if you don’t, but because you might fall and break your teeth — and it looks sloppy. Sometimes it’s hard to be nice to your brother but you need to be nice to your brother because not only is he your brother, he also knows how to air up the flat tire on your bike.
Of course, they aren’t ready for the really important pieces of advice that will come their way at the end of high school.
Start a savings account, because you need to pay yourself first. Find a mentor . Dress for the job you want to have. Pack your lunch instead of hitting the drive-thru every day. It’s bad for you and it will eat up your earnings faster than you can say Doritos Locos.
Not that they’re really listening. They’re just ready to get on with their lives.
Ya estuvo bueno con eso, they say in their heads as tíos and grandpas and vecinas and cousins tell them to aim high. They nod politely, their eyes scanning the scene for someone to walk by and rescue them from the well-meaning, droning voices of experience. Let…