Congratulations to all the accomplished young people who appear in the graduation section in today's Coast Reporter.I'm sure after 18 or so years of taking advice from all and sundry, the last thing you would like is more. However, because I am considerably older, a mother and, most importantly, assigned the duty of filling this space with something approaching readable material, I am going to pontificate for a few sentences.First of all, don't let everyone tell you your best years are behind you. School may have been a blast for some, but others will find that a life where what you can wear, think or do are no longer dictated is considerably more satisfying.Secondly, if you don't already do so, love your family. If your family is of the truly unlovable variety (and sadly, in this job, you see some that are) consider yourself fortunate if you have enough intelligence to realize why they're unlovable. For the rest of you, remember to thank your parents, grandparents and even your siblings for their support over the years. Believe me, you will find very few friends who will sit through soggy soccer practices on the off chance you will find the net. And even fewer who will want to hold your head when it's perched over the toilet and you're running a fever of 102.The third thing I recommend is to never quit learning. And by that I don't mean keep going to school for the rest of your life. Even the most lovable of parents want you to someday be self-supporting. By learning, I mean keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut. Learn to listen. And now I'll recommend something to you that might seem to contradict the mouth shut part - go to Toastmasters. You will learn to assemble your thoughts in a cohesive manner. You will learn self-confidence - one subject that can't be taught in any school - and above all, you will learn to respect the opinions of others. And as an added bonus, you'll learn how to speak without sounding like a politician.The fourth point I'd like to suggest is to find a job you love and do it to the best of your ability. And recognize that the job you love at 20 or 30 may not be the job you love at 40. Don't be afraid to try new things. And as a favour to your future employers, never quit a job and keep coming to work. The day you show up to work simply because you need the money is the day you start working at the world's oldest profession. If you don't know what that is, ask one of your loving parents to explain.The fifth point I'd like to make is: mind your manners. Remember to always treat people as you would like to be treated. Feel free to give back to your community. All those dollars donated by service groups so you could strut your stuff on the soccer field, the arena ice and the dance stage didn't fall from the sky. When you no longer need to take, it's time to give. Respect the laws of the land. You may not agree with all of them, but imagine the chaos if none of them was obeyed. Your parents never want to see your name in print under our court report. And most of all, they never want to see your name in our obituary column. And the sixth and final thing I want to say is to find something besides yourself to believe in. Whatever the spirit you find to worship or respect, realize that something beyond mere mortals runs the world. Otherwise, how could parents ever change diaper number two?And all advice aside, please know your community is truly proud of each and every one of you.