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Dear Mr. Keillor, I just

September 23, 2005 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,
I just graduated college and just about every adult I've encountered has given me advice about what to do now, and most of them contradict each other. For example, some say to do what I want and find my passion after dilly dallying and travelling for a few years. Others completely contradict that advice and tell me to go straight on to graduate school, get a decent job and start putting lots of money in a 401k.

How do you sort through the infinite, contradicting pieces of advice people always have to offer?

Best regards, David Polk Highland Park, IL

David, Be careful who you ask for advice, and don't ever ask advice on these big What-do-I-do-with-my-life questions. You can ask for advice about grad schools, or job seeking, or investment, or where to travel, but go to people with first-hand experience and no axe to grind and weigh their advice carefully. But when it comes to What-do-I-do, you have to follow your heart. And if your heart isn't talking to you, maybe you need to spend some time learning how to listen to it. I believe that a young person needs a period of freedom in their life, an interim period of a year or two or three, during which you get some experience, see some of the world, before you decide which chute to go down. But that's only my advice.

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