7 Warnings to College Graduates for Happiness and Health

7 Warnings to College Graduates for Happiness and Health1 min read

Even if you're not a college graduate, chances are you know one. If you are a college grad, you need help. You've learned a lot, but you'd admit--at least in private--that you have some wisdom to gain.

If you know a college grad--if you've earned their trust--you can offer wisdom you've picked up from life's school of hard knocks. They'll thank you later, if not right away.

Ready to Take on the World

When I walked across the platform to receive my diploma, I could've used some good advice, and some warnings.

I got a lot of congratulations, but not much direction.

I was blazing a new trail. I was the first in my family to get a four-year degree. I'd just gotten married. I was ready to take on the world.

But I could've been better prepared.

Within a year of graduating, I was disillusioned with my job, unsure of my career path, and struggling in my marriage. Over time, these things took a toll on my happiness and health.

Times of Trouble

A few years later, I was burned out on my job, fighting with my wife, and desperately searching for help.

Life after college can be difficult.

  • Landing that first job.
  • Moving to an unfamiliar place.
  • Finding a new home.
  • Living apart from friends.
  • Learning to pay bills.
  • Setting up new routines.
Over time, these challenges can drag a person's mood into the basement. The stress can wear on the mind and body.

​Wise Warnings

With some hard work and help from others, I eventually gained footing in my life. I found the path I'm on today.

Here are a few of the lessons I've picked up along the way. I've packaged them as warnings for this year's new batch of college grads.

1) Jobs and careers don't provide happiness--purpose does

Studies on happiness show that you can increase your job satisfaction and happiness, whatever your job may be. The secret is to not rely on the job description handed to you by your employer. Rewrite your job description to align the purpose of your job with what you value most in life.

2) Hoarding money won't provide lasting happiness--generosity will

People who give away money get more happiness out of their cash than those who hide it. It's not that money can't provide happiness, but as the Bible says, it's the love of money that's the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

3) Working too hard will kill you--remember to rest

Take breaks throughout the day. Don't skip lunch. Remember, God said to work six days and rest on the seventh (Exodus 20:8-11). Rest boosts productivity during working times. Failure to rest, drains the brain and body, and leads to an early grave.

4) Envy will eat you up--be grateful

Resentment, hostility or feeling inferior over someone else's advantages is called envy. Envy produces anger, depression, and anxiety. It raises stress levels. It isolates us from others. Gratitude increases happiness, lowers depression and anxiety, and attracts people to us.

5) Sitting and poor nutrition will cost you--exercise and eat well

Most college grads will move from days of sitting in a classroom and studying at a desk, to sitting during their commute to and from an office--where they will sit all day. Sitting is linked to heart disease, diabetes and premature death. Too busy to prepare their own meals, they'll rely on fast foods and processed foods to feed their hunger--also raising their risk for disease. Exercise and good nutrition offer a host of health benefits. The return on investment includes lower healthcare costs.

6) Putting things off will set you back--get stuff done

Procrastination can ruin your life. It wastes precious time, results in missed opportunities and missed deadlines. It can raise our stress and anxiety levels. Make a task list daily. Put your priorities at the top of the list. Check things off as you go.

7) God reveals His plan on a need-to-know basis--pray often

God's never in a hurry and never late--He's always right on time. What God's doing in your life may not become clear until you look back over the path He's brought you on. Talk to God often, and listen for the quiet voice of His Spirit.

7 Warnings for College Graduates for Happiness & Healing #graduation

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What advice would you add to this list. Leave a comment below to share some wisdom.

Photo Credit: Brian Lane Winfield Moore via Compfight cc
Jon Beaty

I'm a counselor, writer and believer in the power of God to help you thrive in your marriage and family. I live with my family, a small herd of Boer goats, and thousands of honeybees near Portland, Oregon.

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