Words of Advice for the Graduating Senior

Many of my followers have asked what I said to a group of graduating high school seniors in my speech to them at a Mother-Daughter Graduation Tea. These four F’s have guided me in my life. My hope is that they will help young people as they follow their path—this journey we call life.

"Thank you for inviting me to speak today. When I was asked by Kiki Cupp’s mom, Krystie, to come and talk with you all, I had to really think long and hard about what I wanted to say. What advice can I give a group of young women getting ready to embark on the next phase of life? And how would that advice make an impact here today?

So I basically came up with the FOUR F’S. Which we will get into in a minute. But first, I thought I’d give you a little info on me.

Again, my name is Heather Berryhill. I’ve been married for 21-years, I’m a mother of two (Madison age 20, Grayson age 17), I own a small advertising agency here in Tulsa, and I am a fairly recent “blogger”. So if you’re on Instagram, follow me at JustMeHeatherB.

I have a passion for cooking, entertaining, decorating, marketing, and EMPOWERING OTHER WOMEN.

I think THAT might be why Krystie asked me to come speak today. I hope that I am able to give small pieces of advice that might empower each of you, in some way to be STRONG, POWERFUL WOMEN, as you move on to the next phase of your life.

I was born in Louisiana. Moved to Dallas when I was 3. I put myself through college at Texas Tech University where I double majored in Mass Communications and Public Relations (so basically marketing). I was raised by a very strong, single mother who taught me that I could do anything I set my mind to. And I could do ANYTHING A MAN CAN DO. And maybe even BETTER!

I was taught the value of hard work and that nothing worthwhile comes easy. You have to WORK for success. DO THE WORK! You HAVE to put in the work to achieve. There are no handouts. My mother’s advice has stuck with me my entire life. And I have tried my best to be a leader. A positive role model. And, a powerful business woman. I hope I make her proud every day.

So, enough about ME. Let’s talk about YOU and where you are going.

I know a lot of you are wrapped up in finding the perfect roommate, maybe worried about going through rush, being away from home the first time, college classes…and maybe even COVID…something your mom’s and I didn’t have to go through.

But, believe it or not, ALL of those things are GREAT. You will look back on this time and and realize that it’s the challenges in life that will make you a STRONG, POWERFUL WOMAN. So embrace the challenges. God will place them in your life for a reason. Trust HIM. Trust the journey.

So that brings me to the FOUR F’S. I came up with 4 pieces of advice that I wanted to share. These 4 F’s have helped me get through this journey we call LIFE. So…here we go!


The first “F” is FAITH. My faith has been the one constant in my life. I have turned to Jesus more times than I can count. I turn to him in good times. And in bad. And, I have NO DOUBT that because I give it all to HIM, that it is HE, who carries me.

There have been times in my life that just don’t make sense. No way they could have turned out the way they did. Times that simply don’t make sense on paper. For example, college expenses. How did I make it through with only $15K in student loan debt? It doesn’t make sense when you put it down on paper. That’s Jesus. Or the 5 minutes before I was in a horrific car accident, and hearing a voice telling me to put on my seatbelt. That was Jesus. I have countless times that Jesus has shown up in my life. Times that have no other explanation other than…well, Jesus.

So my first piece of advice is…turn to HIM. Stay close to HIM through your college years. Find a church. Find a bible study. Find the “church kids”. Cuz you’re going to need HIM. You are going to be thrown in front of situations that only your FAITH can get you through. Listen to your gut. Listen to HIM. And follow.

And, in times of struggle say this, “Jesus, I trust you. I cast all of my troubles and anxiety on you. Because I know you will guide me and help me.”

I still pray that prayer to this day.


The second “F” is FAMILY. Many of you have your own family story. Some may have a perfect family. Some may not. Whatever the case, just know… no family is perfect. TRUST ME ON THAT! But what I do know is that your family will be there for you.

Your family will be there with you through thick and thin. Your mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparents, aunts/uncles…whoever makes up your family, just know YOU ARE LOVED. And your family wants what’s best for you.

So, turn to them. Ask for guidance. Stay in touch. Call often. Check in.

They want you to succeed. And, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. Whether it be about school, friendships, boys…hey, ask for guidance. Don’t hold it all in. Share and continue to seek your relationships with your family. Through your college years and beyond. It’s important.

And for goodness sakes…CALL YOU MAMA often! And don’t be upset that she still has the LIFE 360 app on her phone that tracks your every move your Freshman year in college. Know that this is new for her too. Give her some grace.


The third “F” is FRIENDSHIPS. Take a look around this room. Many of the girls in this room will be your friends when you are old and gray. You will be in each other’s weddings. You’ll be there to celebrate your pregnancies and birth of your children. You’ll see each other at high school reunions and witness each change of appearance as you grow old.

Some of my best friends in life I met in 3rd grade, high school, college, and in the neighborhood I moved to after getting married. I have a tribe. (Krystie is part of that tribe.) And I lean on my tribe often.

My advice is to FIND YOUR TRIBE and HOLD THEM CLOSE. As you grow older, that tribe will be more like family. And you’re going to need them. You’ll need them to laugh with, dance with, cry with, share recipes with, seek advice from, grieve with, and lean on. Your tribe will be one of the most important things you build in your lifetime. So choose well. And only bring those into the tribe who have your back. That want to see you succeed and support you all the way.

And make sure you are the same for them.


The fourth “F”, and my final piece of advice for today is, FINDING SOMETHING THAT’S JUST FOR YOU. What do I mean by that? It means finding something that’s JUST YOURS.

For me, it’s my career. I like having my own business. I am very passionate about helping small businesses grow through my marketing expertise. And that expertise is JUST MINE. I feel powerful when I am able to share advice with others that helps their business ultimately become more successful.

I also like having my own business because it gives me independence. I make my own money. I am able to contribute to my family. And, I have something to fall back on should I ever need it. I learned that from my Mom. Keep a nest egg. Something that’s JUST YOURS.

My grandmother used to say, “if you are going out on a date for the first time, make sure you have a couple things in your purse. Those things were: A good lipstick. And, a little cash to call a cab should you need to make a quick getaway. For some reason that advice stuck with me.

It’s great to have some form of independence. It’s great to have something that’s just yours. Whether it’s a career, a hobby, running a small home-based business, or volunteering for something you are passionate about. Whatever the case. Just find something that only YOU can call your own. Something no one can claim as their own. Something YOU choose to do because you LOVE it. Find it. Run with it. And, don’t every let anyone tell you you can’t. Because you can do ANYTHING!!!

So that’s it. That’s all the advice I can give you as you embark on this next phase of your life. Each and every one of you has the ability to make great choices. Do that. MAKE GREAT CHOICES. But, if you make a mistake, forgive yourself, make it right and move on.

Congratulations Class of 2020. I’m proud of you. Your family is proud of you. Now…GO CHANGE THE WORLD!!!"

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