All across America at this time of year, there are high school and college students graduating from our education system and heading into the real world. Here's a little advice for them from outside the liberal cocoon their teachers have weaved over the last few years.
1) You were not born special: Everyone is not a winner. Everyone is not a good person. Everyone doesn't deserve to have high self-esteem. Everyone doesn't deserve success.
So, what about you? Are you special? Are you a winner? Do you deserve success? That remains to be seen because everything you've done in school so far means precisely jack squat in the real world.
Yes, if you were lucky enough to go to an Ivy League school, there may be a few people who'll give you an opportunity based on your pedigree, but you still have to perform. Everybody does -- and as a new graduate, you'll be up against more experienced competitors who made it through school just like you did.
You want to be special? Then you must outwork them, outsmart them, and prove it. Until you do, you haven't proven there's anything special about you.
2) Your future probably isn't going to be as bright as the one your parents had: If you're like most people your age, you've heard people talking about the national debt, but you probably haven't paid much attention. After all, it doesn't seem to impact you personally and you're probably assuming someone will just take care of it.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but actually nobody is taking care of it and what that means as a practical matter, is that you will probably never retire unless you save enough money to do it on your own dime. I could give you quotes and statistics out the wazoo, but if you've been paying attention, you probably already suspect this is true. Point being, if you don't want to be 85 years old, working as a Wal-Mart greeter to make ends meet, start putting money back and start from day one.
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