For the Graduate

I will be graduating from Drake University this Sunday. Everybody keeps asking me what I want for a gift. This would be money, duh. But realistically, looking ahead 20 years, the greatest gift I could receive would be a way of remembering life as it is right now, by people I know. So if you are struggling to figure out a gift for the graduate in your life, here are my suggestions:

Print their pictures. Social networks like Facebook may not always be there. Someday your graduate will want to close their account, or pictures may get deleted, etc. My graduating generation overly relies on internet as a safe storage of memories. Print off all the pictures they are tagged in and put them in a box. Then, one day, your Facebook-less graduate will be able to look back and remember these days.

Write your memories. Write down all your significant memories of them. Start from the day you first met. Just keep writing until you feel like you have covered the essence of that person and your relationship. It is one thing to think back on your own memories, but it would be amazing to have someone else’s to keep as well.

Film each other. My grandfather is actually doing this for me. He is doing a graduation video and asked me if there is anything in particular I would like him to catch on film. I would obviously like footage of the ceremony and my fellow graduates. But I also asked that he film my visiting friends and family. This day is not just about me. It is about starting a new chapter in my life, which includes everyone in it. I want to remember them just as much, if not more, than how I was on this day.

Give advice. The other part of my graduation video request was that my friends and family give me advice on graduating and on life. Some of my relatives were in this exact same place many years ago and I would love to know their thoughts. I even would like advice from friends of my same age. Insights from other people, especially those that I love, are priceless when it comes to starting the rest of my life.

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