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Graduation Perspective… One Year Later


By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 17th, 2013
Posted in All Features

By Mitchell Walbridge

It doesn’t feel like nearly a year has passed since I stood on a stage in the gymnasium of Lanesboro High School reciting my valedictorian address to hundreds of people. The experience was unreal. My 13 years in elementary and high school were being rewarded in that short ceremony that took less than an hour from beginning to end. Until then, and even today, those rewarding minutes are still my biggest accomplishment in life so far.

Interestingly, over the past nine months I have watched several of the Classes of 2013, including my alma mater of Lanesboro go through the exact same timeline that the graduating class of 2012 went through not too long ago. Let me just say how amazing it is to observe hindsight perspective and watch how far each senior class has matured, decided which college they’ve chosen to attend, and determined which major and career that they’ll potentially pursue.

What seems like an eternity of sitting in a desk, listening to a teacher drone on continuously waiting for the bell for dismissal will all come to a sudden halt. Trust me, I’ve been there, and the last week can be rough, even for the teachers. Then you’ll find yourself in a cap and gown with a diploma in your hand, walking out of your high school as a student for the very last time, wondering to yourself, “Where did the time go?” Some students will read this paragraph and think, ‘Yeah right, I’ll be happy to leave this place.’ One may think that now, but just wait for the moment.

Now is when the real doors open. Graduates get to pick from an infinite number of paths that they’ll experience throughout life. This can be a difficult task. Sometimes I still question whether or not I am making the right education and career moves. It is often said that it is not uncommon for the average college student to change his or her major anywhere from three to five times…not to put any pressure on anybody. Finding what suits you is extremely important because you’ll spend a career, often which lasts anywhere from 20 to more than 35 years, in your chosen profession.

Scare tactics aside, I have found that the best advice to live by and to deal with this pressure is this: Find what you like to do and make a career out of it. I think I’ve found my niche in the field of journalism, but that may change. And change is nothing to fear, although transitions are often uncomfortable and take a considerable amount of time.

The Class of 2013 may provide us with one of our future U.S. presidents, the next doctor, teacher, musician, or athlete. Whether you’re a Mabel-Canton Cougar, Fillmore-Central Falcon, Lanesboro Burro, Rushford-Peterson Trojan, Kingsland Knight, or Chatfield Gopher, remember this quote from an unknown author, “If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.”

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