Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taking That Next Step 5-20-09 Editor's Column

It is again the time of year that graduation gowns are donned, honor cords are distributed and thousands of pictures are taken to remember the occasion that is graduation.

And why not celebrate? Graduation from high school and college signify great steps towards bright futures for many of the students that have put in the time and effort to make it so far.

Still I would encourage the recent (and upcoming) graduates to do a little bit of thinking on their newfound accomplishments, as they can often mean more than just joining the working world or becoming a college student.

For example, many high school students are taking that next step into a world that may seem foreign to them. Many of them will be moving on to higher education that will likely involve living away from home with people they have never met before in a setting that may be unfamiliar to them.

As they take these steps, little do they realize just how profound these experiences will be for them. College has the potential to change everything for an individual and lead to new things that will shape the person that each student will become.

I, for one, cannot recount all of the things that, looking back, I learned about myself and who I want to be from my college experience.

Then there are the college graduates, who have just spent a number of years becoming professionals. I was in their position one year ago and would like them to know this: It is okay to be scared.

Despite the doom and gloom of the job market, if you focus on what you want and are willing to do what is necessary in the mean-time, you will eventually find yourself where you want to be.

I was unemployed for three months following my graduation and worked another two and a half months as a janitor before I was given this job opportunity. Just because you don’t have success right out of the gate doesn’t mean that you cannot have success, it simply means you have to continue working to get there.

Finally, to both the high school and college graduates: There will be failures, but from those failures you will learn a great deal about yourself. Welcome the challenges and never give in to the pressure that will often seem unbearable.

Just remember that each day ends and that momentary inconveniences are not worth allowing yourself to be broken down. Congratulations, class of 2009. Watch your step.

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