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World awaits graduates

It’s the time of year when secondary and post-secondary schools send forth a new class of graduates.
Members of the newspaper staff have been in their shoes, some of us more recently than others. In wishing them the best of luck, we want to offer a few words of advice.
— Don’t wait to start post-high school education. As soon as the words ‘I want to take some time off, so I’ll start next semester’ come from your lips, life will happen and next semester will never come.
Stay away from credit cards and credit card offers. Yeah, that free T-shirt or free cap sure sound nice, but you can’t get into credit card debt if you don’t have a credit card to begin with.
The people who are in your lives right now probably won’t be in your lives 10 or 20 years down the road. I once heard that weeds choke the unused path. If you truly value a friendship, make sure you keep in touch. Conversely, people you thought you had nothing in common with in high school will probably become a friend later in life.
Remember that though you are a high school graduate, you are still physically, mentally and emotionally young. You are comparatively dumb to a majority of the people in this world. There is a lot of room for improvement and growth, so don’t deny yourself that improvement and growth just because you have a diploma and think you are superior to your elders.
‘Alan Stewart
— Every graduate of high school or college faces a daunting future of either diving head first into the ‘real world’ or coming up with the right combination of student loans, scholarships or parents’ trust fund to be able to afford the college of their choice.
My advice to recent high school graduates would be to sign up for PayPal founder Peter Thiel’s ’20 under 20′ program which has awarded $100,000 grants to kids around the world who have bright, bold ideas worth developing. The catch is, the kids can’t go to college and have to get started on their idea right away. Thiel, a Stanford University graduate, thinks many kids are wasting time, energy and money chasing degrees when they should be working on solutions and breakthrough technologies.
But, not all of us harbor breakthrough technological ideas, so college seems like a solid option. Some say that in this economy a person is better off jumping into the workforce rather than spending money going to college or falling into debt from student loans. It’s already tough enough to land a job; having a college degree would at least have to make it a little less difficult.
I would suggest to attend an institution, if possible, a good distance from home. From my experience, living away from home on your own, for the most part, creates more learning opportunities than a classroom ever could.
‘Ross Schulz
— Continue to dream and dream big. You didn’t get to where you are at this stage of your life without thinking you could do whatever it was you wanted to accomplish. So, don’t stop now.
The only thing that will prevent you from being successful is to think you can’t. Sure, there might be others with the same goals who get there sooner or easier, but think of life as a journey. Part of the enjoyment should be reaching your goal. Life is what happens while you’re on that journey. And often detours provide lasting memories.
Don’t let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Have determination. If the people you associate with are not encouraging you, you need to find new friends. And don’t forget to be that kind of friend in return.
Be flexible. Life’s too short to not consider all options that might come your way. You don’t want to wake up one morning and wish you could do it all over again. We often don’t get second chances.
And most importantly, be happy. Happiness is a state of mind. Yes, life isn’t always pleasant and there will be times you must grieve. Think of these times as growing periods, when you learn how to deal with obstacles. Trials and tribulations will make you a stronger person.
The world isn’t always a pleasant place, but you can do your part to make it better. Most things start with one person. Be that person.
‘ Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor