Carmen Rasmusen Herbert: 4 tips, advice for graduating young women

Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News

Carmen Rasmussen performs during the Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo Saturday, July 3, 2004.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak to several youth groups about life after high school graduation over the last few weeks. I love seeing the excitement and anticipation on their hopeful faces as they contemplate being away from home for the first time, dreaming about all of life’s possibilities.

Victoria Beckham wrote a letter that was published in British Vogue, giving advice to herself at age 18.

“Dear Victoria,” it began. “I know you are struggling right now. You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Laine Theatre Arts college. You have never properly fitted in.

“There is a red telephone box outside the school and you have just rung your parents, crying, ‘I can’t do this, I miss home, I’m not good enough.’ And Mum has told you to come home. ‘We’ll go to Lakeside and buy a new pair of shoes,’ she said. It’s tempting. But then Dad got on the phone: ‘Stay there, prove everyone wrong.’ If you’d listened to Mum, you would be going to Lakeside. (Shoes are important, just not right now.) It would be the easy solution. And I’m writing to jolly you along, to offer consolation and encouragement, and to tell you, aged 18, to be strong.”

Like Beckham’s parents, one of the best gifts my mom and dad gave me was the gift of support. I knew no matter what I did, they would be there for me.

I think that’s why I felt comfortable going for a reality show that only accepted 12 people out of 72,000. It’s why I had the courage to go to Nashville and pitch my songs to record labels, most of which turned me down. It’s why I applied for and attended college at probably the worst time to do so — after I was prime for stardom having just been on the No. 1 rated show on television because I needed to figure out what I really wanted. It’s also why I felt I could leave all that and still do what I love — in a different way, for different reasons.

My parents have always believed in me, always told me I could do anything I wanted. I want to offer that same advice to graduating girls this year, along with some…

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