Hey, new grads. No matter what your commencement speaker said, there are some real-world truths they probably left out. So, here’s what you should know as you leave those hallowed halls: 

  • First, the time you spent on things other than class-work wasn’t wasted, whether you played sports, or hung out at the frat house with friends. Because studies show that close friendships are crucial to your happiness and well-being. In fact, one measurement of your success will be how many college friends you’re still close to in another 20 years. 

  • Another piece of wisdom that wasn’t in the graduation speech? Go ahead and change the world, but don’t make it worse. In other words, you’re obviously smart and motivated and creative, but so are a lot of people who do bad things. Look at Bernie Madoff, he graduated from Hofstra University, probably with the same dreams and aspirations you have. But somewhere along the line he used his brains to swindle his clients out of $50 billion dollars. So put your brains to use in a positive way.

  • Also: You may have thought college was tough and hard work. But know this: Some of your hardest days lie ahead. The working world can be incredibly tough, you will have periods of failure and self-doubt. But it’s how you handle those difficult times that give you strength and character. 

  • Finally: Don’t take anything for granted, not even tomorrow. Look at it this way: If you got hit by a bus next week or next year, would you regret the choices you’ve made so far? Even more importantly, if you didn’t get hit by a bus, would you be happy and proud of your life 20 years down the road? That’s something to think about as you travel through life.