2017-04-26 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

Well, graduations are around the corner.

Thousands of seniors will be walking off graduation stages straight into “I don’t have a clue” land. Many, who are college bound, are going because, like me, they had something like the following drilled into their empty heads,-----“You get decent grades, you graduate, then you go straight to college or technical school, courtesy of parents, teachers, counselors, and principals. No room for any deviation. In reality, most graduates don’t have the foggiest idea as to what they really want to do. Too bad, go to college or you’re hell-bound for failure, they said.

Granted, there are some students who’ve known, since elementary school exactly what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives. They worked hard, got accepted to the right school, obtained their degree(s), and are happy today. Good for them. Most are not so lucky though, to have figured out their futures very early in their lives. The problem is that there just aren’t that many graduates who honestly know themselves at age 18, 20, 25, or even much later. The reality is that most graduates today should expect to have three or four different careers during their lifetime. The days of working in one career for forty or fifty years are almost nonexistent in today’s changing world. They’ll have to regularly re-educate themselves or fall back to the caboose.

But here’s an option. “Don’t go to college” unless you’ve got the passion that allows you to wake up each morning, looking forward to what it is you’ve chosen to do. You’ve heard the quote- ----“Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Simplistic, corny? Yea, but pretty much true, I think.

If you don’t have that fire in your belly for college or technical school, go to work somewhere, move away from friends and parents (relax Momma, they won’t forget how to get back home), meet new people, try everything (except drugs, robbing banks, or politics). You might find that you don’t need a degree in order to make a good living and you won’t be harnessed with $50-75 thousand dollars in student loan debt either. College brochures, if they’re honest, should say this-----“Get a degree here, because you’ll need it to pay back your student loans over the next twenty years.”

The military is another option. You won’t get better, “free” training in as many fields as you can here. Try the Peace Corps, Habitat for Humanity, learn to fly a plane, become a hunting guide, learn to scuba dive. And remember, education isn’t confined to classrooms.

Students, don’t be in a rush. You can attend college later. Most of you are going to live to be eighty and older anyway. There’s time. Enjoy yourself for a while. You earned it. Work hard, laugh a lot, travel near and far, party a little, be curious. Have a plan, a flexible plan, but remember, it’s sad to accidentally, or intentionally, follow someone else’s plan and not your own.

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