Congrats grads, here’s a little advice
Published Friday, June 8, 2012
By Mary Wendell
Four years ago, I graduated from Northwest High School. Two years ago, my sister, LeeAnn, graduated. This year my brother, Lucas Wendell, walked across the stage and earned his diploma from Northwest High School.
My little brother is the baby and he’s the last one of us to graduate from high school. As the eldest, I have been so blessed to watch my sister and my brother graduate and grow into wonderful people. Lucas and I have always had a great relationship, fueled by our love of video games and the same kind of music. I have been lucky to be able to count both of my siblings as two of my best friends.
At the end of his high school career, I know my brother struggled with what he was going to do once he graduated. And even though he says he has figured it out, I have some advice to share with him and his classmates.
Don’t rush it. College is a time for you to grow and learn what you stand for. Take your time. It’s OK to take five (or more!) years to graduate.
Get involved. Go to school events or join an organization. You will meet people you never thought you would. It’s always a good idea to network because you never know when something you’re involved in will get you a job.
Take an elective or two in your first year that is different from what you’re studying. I changed my major because of an Intro to Sociology class. You never know what passion you will find from a class. Or take something that just sounds fun, like The Politics of Rock N’ Roll or a philosophy class over Bollywood.
It’s OK to change your major. Don’t get stuck with a degree you didn’t want. Figure out what you want to do. You may get in the pre-major courses and realize your degree was nothing like what you thought it would be.
Be yourself. It’s cheesy, I know, but college is a place for people to truly express who they are, and you’ll make friends.
If you live in the dorms, make friends with your roommate and the people around you. They’ll probably be homesick, too, so it’s great to have that connection right out the gate.
But not everyone goes to college. You don’t have to go to college to be successful. Go to a technical school. Start at a job and let them know your intentions to move through the company and offer to learn anything. To those joining the military, thank you for your service and making that commitment. Many Northwest grads have made that decision and we all thank you for serving.
Little brother, I hope everything in your life works out for you. I am so proud of you and I love you a whole lot. Thank you for always being there for me, and you know I’ve got your back.
Congratulations to all graduates. May you be successful in all your endeavors.