I sit here writing this out thinking about how I felt at my high school graduation. I sat there this past Thursday at my younger brother's high school graduation. I sat there and since then I have thought about my high school graduation. When I was in high school, I was not so much as a different person than who I am now. But I have changed. Sometimes I feel as if it were for the good. And other times I feel as if it were for the better.

Graduates, you will learn in your time in college, the military or the workforce how to do things that you did not know when you were in high school. So I have now provided the list of things that I have learned over the past two years of independence at a college that has shaped who I am more than I can ever describe.

- I learned how to not take crap from people as much anymore. Sometimes I sit there and take it at my job because I like money, with my family because there are just some battles that you should just let go, and with people in general. But when I do decide to stand up for myself I do it, occasionally, with dignity and grace. If you do not stand up for yourself or your own beliefs then people will walk all over you.

- Know the company that you keep. I have had friends drift away that really should not have. I had friends that I really wish that I never would have met because they have caused so much grief and anger. Keep the friends that are with you 100%. No question. Do not stay with friends that cause you so much drama and cause you to question yourself because then they are not truly you friend and you need people in your life that care and love you because of who you are.

- Please take care of yourself. I have neglected to take care of myself for as long as I can remember. But one of the many ways that I treat myself is by working out. That rush of adrenaline and the feeling of toxic feelings and waste leaving your body is euphoric. I also read, play video games, and write some pretty good articles on the Odyssey. Find what makes you happy and treat yourself as much as you possibly can. Because if you don't you end up with all this stress and anger in life.

- Some of the more non-serious things that I have learned: macaroni and cheese is heaven to eat, condensing laundry saves you time, sleep on top of your sheets to make sure that you don't have to change them all the time, Applebees has half apps on the weekends to save money, but the generic brands of stuff (sometimes they taste better).

Please be careful with whatever you may be doing this weekend. Congratulations graudates. You have made it.