“The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades”. This song, by Timbuk3, and popular during the 80’s, always comes to mind when I think of graduations. That, and the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” Funny, these are two very different mediums expressing a very similar sentiment. When I think of the next generation, their quest for higher education and to make a place for themselves in the world, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, we have given so much to our children that they likewise expect a lot. I think that deep in the heart of every new high school graduate is the thought that they are now on their way to experiencing fame and fortune. It’s like the world will suddenly open up to recognize and reward their special abilities and uniqueness. For some, this may be true. Others will need some extra help. And with work, comes success and failure. Lessons will have to be learned, and usually it’s not the easy but the hard way. We all had to go down that route at one time. It is for these reasons that I think every new graduate should consider the following advice as they prepare for college and eventually the American work force.
First, prioritization is the key to keeping yourself together. Figuring out what task needs to be completed next is essential when you’re taking 5 classes and are beginning to feel overwhelmed with the sheer volume of work expected of you. Honing this skill requires a certain ability to see what’s coming in the near future. We used to use those big, bulky organizing notebooks to help with this. Now, it can be as simple as an app on your phone. Whatever your choice, just try to avoid panic. Remember, keeping your focus on the next right thing is your goal.
Next, try spending less time in the virtual world (social media, etc.) and more in the real world. College is a time where lifetime relationships can be built. Don’t miss out on that because it seems safer to rely on technology for a social life than it does to actually put yourself out there. Talk to your college professors, ask them questions. Schedule office time with them to go over something you don’t understand, or better yet, something you’re passionate about. Remember, someone is paying a lot of money for you to gain knowledge, so why not do so first hand?
And finally, remember that it’s okay to say “No”. Now this one here can be tricky. It applies to social pressure in all aspects of the word. But, it also relates to accepting too much responsibility or work at one time. Our high achievers can probably already relate to this. In high Graduating Senior, were you on the track team, debate club and taking several AP classes? Did you find yourself sometimes stretched to the point of breaking? If so, remember to commit discernibly to those activities that mean the most to your future goals while in college. Give yourself some time to relax and have fun as well.
So, to all those wide-eyed high school seniors planning their graduation parties, I say “congratulations”. The world IS your oyster, so go dig in and find your priceless pearl. You are our future. Work hard, never lose sight of who you are, and remember to just do the next right thing.
Also, to the rising senior class, I have some advice as well. Study hard your senior year as it is important. Should you find yourself struggling with grades or that SAT/ACT score, remember there are people you can reach out to for help. Dynamis Learning Academy is here to assist you in any way possible whether it be for organization, study skills or tutoring. That way, this time next year it will be you preparing for the parties, for college, and excited to throw that funny black hat high into the air.