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Grads: Take advantage of opportunities

High school graduation is a definite milestone. For many it is the second major milestone in life following up on the acquisition of that driver’s license and the freedom it bestows. There will be many more milestones -good and bad – to come. Graduates, there are some things you can do to maximize good outcomes and minimize the bad. There are millions of opportunities out there that your parents and especially your grandparents could never have dreamed of. Take advantage of them! Here are a few ideas you might consider. Don’t stop learning now. Go on to college or technical school and acquire a vocation or go into the military. Find out what it is you love to do and do it. If you can accomplish that, your life will be blessed with a rewarding and likely lucrative career. Get a job now. You are blessed to be leaving high school at a time when the American job market is a target-rich environment. There are plenty of jobs out there. Find one and work part time while you further your education. Be willing to accept minimum wage. It is the experience that is most important at this time in your life. Give 110% at this job and everything you do. If you are willing to work and work hard, you have the vast majority of people beaten from the start. There is no substitute for hard work. Employers know within a month or so who is a worker and who is a slacker. Don’t be a slacker. Establish a good work ethic and build on it all your life. Stay positive. The world already has enough people who are not happy if they don’t have something to complain about. Take this old adage to heart: ‘˜If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all’. Nobody – not even another whiner – likes a whiner. Use technology to your advantage. The cellphone in your pocket has more data processing capability than NASA had at its disposal when it put a man on the moon. Use it to explore new interests and destinations. It is capable of so much more than just texting. Don’t father or conceive a child until you are married and financially stable. To do otherwise is unfair to both you and the newborn baby. Babies are expensive. That expense grows as the baby grows. Keep these things in mind and be responsible. Don’t burden your parents, grandparents or society with raising your offspring. Remember that good things rarely happen after midnight. Be careful of whom you hang out with and where you hang out. Have fun but don’t become a statistic. Find a careful balance between work and play. Be an early bird. Get up and get after it every morning. The right people will notice. Be resilient. Life is largely good but everyone has dark periods as they walk along life’s road. Try to avoid them but, if you fall into a funk, work to get out of it quickly. There is help out there. Don’t be scared to ask for it and ask for it early on. As ye think, so shall ye be. This is adapted from scripture in the book of Proverbs. Basically, it means you should think positive rather than negative thoughts. Those who wallow in negativity will have negative outcomes. Those who think good thoughts and look for the best in life are much more likely to find it. Finally, never miss an opportunity to do a good deed for another. You will see good manifest in your life as a result. Bad deeds are likewise multiplied and come home to roost. So do good. Congratulations on your graduation. Good luck and Godspeed!

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