To the Editor:
High school and college graduations, among others, are once again upon us. During this festive time of year, graduates celebrate their accomplishments and look forward to future challenges. I would like to share some thoughts with the Class of 2013 that I have picked up on since graduating from high school a decade ago.
1.) Do not worry if your dream school did not accept you. Many employers do not care which college you attended. What matters more are the drive and skills you bring to the table.
2.) Do not be ashamed to take a job that you think is “beneath” you. Every job is an opportunity for growth, no matter how insignificant or dismal it seems.
3.) Take time to learn about your family history. One of my grandfathers died while I was in college, and I always wish we had talked more about his past. Some day, you too, will wish you knew more about where you came from.
4.) Start saving for retirement. The younger you are when you open an IRA, mutual fund or other account, the longer your savings will compound and grow. Do not wait for the “right time,” because the right time is now! Start saving today, even if you contribute only $20 a week.
5.) Treat others well. It is easy to judge those who are different from us and disregard others’ feelings in our endless quest for self-advancement. We are all “fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys,” as Charles Dickens said in “A Christmas Carol.”
6.) Do not give up on yourself. It is easy to feel discouraged in this fast-paced, calloused world that may beat you into nothing and leave you by the wayside. If you stop believing in yourself, chances are that no one else will care; save maybe some close relatives or a few friends. No defeat is so great that it should make you feel hopeless. If you fail, dust yourself off, turn a new page and keep moving forward.
Congratulations and best wishes, Class of 2013!