Archived Story

Graduation is just the beginning

Published 1:05pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This past week, hundreds of 18-year-olds around Tallapoosa County and the surrounding area hit a fairly important milestone.

Graduating high school is sort of a big deal.

Congratulations!

While I’m sure that many recent graduates think the “hard part” is over and college is one big, four-year party, I’m just as sure that for every one graduate whose idea of college comes from a movie screen, there are about five who are beset with fear and uncertainty over what comes next.

And you know what? That second group – the “Ahhhhh, college!!!” group – they know what’s up.

Because long after the last cap has fallen from the sky and all the graduation parties are a distant memory – or a missing part of your memory – that uncertainty and doubt about the future will still exist.

It should exist because college is sort of difficult, and, oh my God, the stuff that comes after college? Don’t even get me started on that.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

All recent graduates who are worried about the future, you should be. It’s only natural.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t be too worried.

College brings many potential headaches depending on your situation: student loans, unfamiliar surroundings, roommate horror stories (of which I have many. None of which, however, are fit for print).

But the reason you shouldn’t be too worried about college is because the end result is worth it.

Not only is there the crucial knowledge you will have gained once you’ve left campus for the final time, but there are the lifelong friendships that you’ll have forged, the first steps toward independence you will have taken and the degree in hand that will help shape your future.

Maybe that doesn’t seem like much, but remember how I said graduating high school is “sort of” a big deal?

I say that because the things you can do in life with just a high school diploma are becoming less and less by the day.

That’s why I encourage all high school graduates to either attend college (community or otherwise), a career technical school, join the military or something along those lines.

Above all, the skills you can obtain in a classroom post-high-school are invaluable to ensuring you make a seamless transition into the workforce after you’ve gone through yet another graduation ceremony.

And like I said, the little things you’ll gain along the way make the college experience more than worth it.

Sure, you may incur a fair bit of student loan debt along the way, but have no worries.

It’s an unforgettable time that’s more than worth your while.

P.S. Apply for scholarships …

Hudson is a staff writer for The Outlook.

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