Take My Advice...
We asked alumni to give their advice to '05 graduates.
Excerpts of several responses are below. To read more,
visit alumni.unc.edu/ classquotes.
"Do something you have a passion for;
you'll be best at that. The harder you work, the
luckier you'll get. Find a mentor and use him
or her to bounce ideas offof and for consola-
tion when things look grim. Be sure you bal-
ance your work with your loves and interests,
life is a balancing act; be sure to enjoy it. Aim
high and hold your aim ... Every failure is an
inlportant learning experience ... persistence is
the key. Keep at it and don't get discouraged."
Steven Levenherz ' 67
North Hutci1irlsoll Island, Fla.
"Be open to all possibilities. Weigh all
opportunities and be flexible. Some of the most
interesting and rewarding experiences may
come from areas you least expect."
Step hane D avies B ooth ' 73
"Make sure that you choose work that you
believe in - not just for the company that
gave you the most lucrative offer. Over time
you'll be happier ifyou chose something pur-
poseful over a larger income. You'll probably
meet others with similar values and might
make lifelong friends.... Volunteering for a
nonprofit or other conununity group will also
help you see how to invest in others whose
education may not have been as helpful as your
own. And be careful about consumer debt. It's
good to save and to wait for something inlpor-
tant. ... Your parent(s) may seem irrelevant at
times, but keep in touch with them, and take
your folks to dinner for no special reason or
show that you appreciate them in some other
way. If they've wronged you, forgive them.
Harboring resentment is more likely to hurt
you than them."
H . Lee Purgason Jr. ' 78
"Pay attention to the things you
learned in classes outside your major
your core classes. Remember that everyone's
job is important - your boss, the
admins, the folks that empty the
trash in the evening. Respect 'em
all and you'll find that respect
returned to you.... Don't be afraid to
take some risks now. It'll be much harder
to do so later - not impossible, but you'll
likely have a lot more to lose. The past few
years don't have to have been the best years of
your life! Go have some more fun doing some-
thing you love!"
"If you're not enjoying a book, put it down
and walk away. There is no timetable for suc-
cess.You'll succeed when you and the world
are both ready for each other. Have a big meal
at your favorite CH restaurant before you leave
town. There's a decent chance it won't be there
when you come back. Remember: You gradu-
ated with Jackie, Melvin and Jawad. Be proud .
Never follow unsolicited advice from Internet
bulletin boards. Good luck!"
Peter Cashwell ' 85
fMJodberry Forest, va.
"You're more likely to succeed following
your passion than taking a 'safe'job. Now is the
time in your life to take risks personally and
professionally. Build friendships, not nerworks.
John Grisham said, 'No one takes you seriously
until you're 30 years old anyway.' "
Stowe Spivey ' 91
"The best thing I ever did as a recent gradu-
ate was to choose ajob where my employer
would/could be a good mentor. Often, recent
graduates have no idea what they 'really' want
to do. Align
yourself with someone who
wants to see you achieve and
excel, both personally and professionally, even if
it means losing you to graduate school, a new
career or employer in a couple ofyears. It's not
always important what you do. Sometimes, who
you do it with/for has far more advantages!"
"Breathe! Get our of the Chapel Hill bubble
- as Thomas Wolfe says, you can't go home
again, and unless you're still in school there
doing a grad degree, get out and explore the
broader world. Chapel Hill is wonderful and
special, bur the people I know who live there
after college usually aren't the happiest. Don't
plan your life too much - see where it takes
you. Maybe you leave a job after six months,
maybe you move somewhere .. . be flexible
and enjoy the adventure. Don't beat yourself up
if things don't go perfectly in the first couple of
years, because they won't. So many people 1
know say, 'If only I went to grad school or
moved to NY or had a better job or got mar-
ried, life would be beuer!'Just focus on making
the best ofyour life where it is now, and if it's
really that bad, do something to change it."
Megan Hyland '03
We want to hear from you. Tell us about your most
memorable roommate. Please limit responses to 200
words, Include your town and class year, and reply by
Sept. 1. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.