To the class of 2013Published Jun 12, 2013 at 7:12 am (Updated Jun 11, 2013 at 10:30 am)
First, congratulations on your accomplishment. It’s quite a milestone. And, while it may sound cliche, and maybe you have heard it many times in the recent weeks, the world is your oyster right now.
Opportunities abound. Never again are you going to have so many options at your fingertips. College, trade school, the military, taking a year off to travel, or even going right into the work force are all options. And, never again are you going to have so much freedom as you will in the next two and a half months. Enjoy this time while you have it – next summer, you’ll likely be interning, serving your country or working to pay the bills.
If there is one piece of advice that we can offer to you, it is to really think about the direction you are going in. While you have more options now than you ever will, the path you chose to take will directly affect the rest of your life. At 17 or 18 years old, that’s a lot of pressure to make a decision.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t afford college – because you can. Financial aid, student loans, work study programs and more make this possible.
If going to school to learn a trade is the decision you have made, go for it. A four-year college isn’t for everyone, and you will be most successful in something you are actually interested in learning and doing.
If you want to serve in the military, don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t. You already are a brave and admirable person for wanting to serve your country.
Should you chose to take a year off from school and travel, by all means, go for it. But, do it responsibly. The education you will get from seeing how other cultures live is second to none. But, make sure that one year off doesn’t turn into two, three or even a lifetime without going back to school.
Finally, if you have decided to go straight into the work force, congratulations on making the decision to become a productive member of society.
Truth be told, you will look back on this summer five, 10, even 15 years from now and realize how good you had it.
So, whichever journey you decide to embark on, we wish you the best of luck and nothing but success.