Tips for the Graduating Class of 2018

With graduation season on the horizon, many around the area are saying their last goodbyes to people and institutions that have molded them over the past few years. New and better things lie ahead, and for many the transition can be overwhelming and sometimes unsettling. We here at the Jefferson County Post understand this change and would like to take a few moments to offer some advice to those graduates this upcoming season.

First things first, let’s just get this one off of our chests. It’s okay to be scared of the stuff coming up over the summer or even this fall. It’s okay to miss the stuff that has become normal and familiar to you. Use these things as fond memories and spend the remaining weeks that you have making even more. These experiences will follow you and help with your world perspective later on. Places and people of your adolescence that have helped you become the person that you are will always hold a special place with you. Use what you have learned to make your own life and the lives of those around you better.

Something big that I wish that someone had told me when I was about to graduate, is that it’s okay not to have everything figured out when everyone else seems sure of themselves. Other people around you may have figured out what college they are going into, with their major picked out and a part time job and internships lined up before they step in the doors of secondary education. It’s okay if you are not that person. Take time to see what interests you, what is going to make you happy, and see what happens. You never know where you might end up. When lookin at careers, ask yourself if you can stand doing the job without almost immediate emotional, mental, or physical burnout.

You could discover that perhaps a traditional college setting is not for you. That’s okay! Go to technical school and learn a trade, or get a license in something that you are passionate about. As long as you are contributing in whatever way you can and providing for yourself and your family, that’s all you need. Trade jobs can make very good money without accruing massive student loans, and are a relatively untapped market with today’s push for every student to college. Nobody’s journey into this second step of the “adult” stage of life is ever easy, and no two look the same.

My last piece of advice I think is a simple one, but we decide to make it so complicated. Our fast paced world of technology and our need to be constantly connected makes taking time for ourselves hard. Make time to take care of yourself. Eat a salad every once in a while, take an entire day to spend outside or read a good book. Have a meal with the people that you care about the most, with no cellphones or electronics of any kind, and just talk. Take a step back every now and then and breathe.

It’s amazing how much you can benefit from focusing and unplugging every once in awhile. You will thank yourself for it, I promise. You are stepping into a much wider world soon, so be sure not to let the stress rob you of the enjoyment you can find in this new stage of life. To those about to embark and change the world with their big ideas and dreams, I hope you take all of this into consideration. From those of us at the Jefferson County Post, Good Luck Class of 2018, and Congratulations!

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

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