Turning 18 – Looking Forward To That Day. Turning 18 is a milestone in any young person’s lifetime. It is a time of celebration and joy. You will have met one of the longest challenges we adults face, K-12 education. You will be able to mark that off your bucket list as DONE! However, the road doesn’t end there. Neither does your bucket list.
GRADUATION! Turning 18 – Looking Forward To That Day.
That list branches off instead. There are so many more roads to travel. Picking that next road right out of high school is often the one that will truly lead us to that person we will eventually become someday. It will be that road that is one of the first adult crossroads you will encounter in your lifetime. Not the last, far from it, but maybe one of the most transformational ones.
I just went to my 40-year class reunion. Talk about a time warp! Wow! Nevertheless, getting the chance to listen to many of them talk about the paths they had been on over the years was enjoyable. There were a number of successful people in the group, a few sad moments as I learned of those that had passed away, and a few ho-hums. Some never left our hometown, yet here we are; just glad to be back, for this one special day. Together we have one connection, one bond – our youth. We didn’t stop being friends because we went to college, or started working – we were still bonded. Bonded in those friendship sealed years ago.
Looking back at all those goals we set.
College is a very short educational journey that helps set us up for the right path – and encourages us to choose better directions for ourselves and our future families. This is a decision that is NOT solely guided by our parents or our peers (friends). They aren’t going to take the tests for us, or turn the corners of pages either – that is left up to us. Only we, ourselves, can make those decisions, and take those actions. It’s a decision we choose for ourselves based on goals we set in K-12. Just having a “goal” back then, that was the first step in our journey. We didn’t know then what we were creating. We were creating our own futures.
We were creating our own futures
The time you will spend in college is very short, even if you ultimately go for a master’s degree or higher. When it is over, you will wish those college days were back!
I get it – not everyone wants to go to college
I understand that some are just work bound. They can’t wait. There is too much going on in their own heads to spend time in the classroom. To those, I say “good luck”. I’ve known many successful individuals who opted to not go to college, and they have done very well. There are others who are still not getting started in college or work. If you still can’t get started – go back to school! I do not care how old you are, or where you are in your life. Do it for you. Education will change you – for the better. Maybe it’s a certificate program, a construction trade training, associates, or 3-month training. Whatever – just do it for you.
So much fun to look forward too.
Did you know that most people develop many of their lifelong friendships while in college? It’s true. Those people, friends, your working network will be established while in college. It was true for me too.
The things you will be able to do while in college should both astound you and inspire you. There are so many events and fun happenings on campus. I wonder sometimes how much work goes into just keeping events going. There are lots of activities you can get involved in. You just have to be willing to participate.
The best time of your life will be while you are in college. You will be free to be that person you always thought was hiding under the surface. It’s an exciting time! Yes, there is homework – but its more directed toward your career now. That’s the difference.
The educational experience while in college isn’t like high school. There is freedom on the campus’. It’s the freedom you have been looking for. It’s the freedom to become that person you always wanted to be. Chances are, you may even meet your lifelong partner there. That isn’t such a bad thought when you think about it. Having someone who is just as likeminded as you are about their goals – is a win-win for your both your futures. Think about it.
Letting go – beyond high school
Anyone who keeps you from your goal is not your real friend. Your real friends will encourage you to get your education and reach your goals. Go to college, or technical training, and have some fun while you are young! Those college years are the best years of your life – don’t let anyone steal that from you.
Hopefully, many of your friends will go to college as well! You should encourage them.
College is a well laid out path. A good path. A fun path. Who doesn’t like fun?
Some little-trivia about college:
- 54% of students live at home for the first year while attending college (free food | free rent)
- The closer you live to campus, the more successful you will be in college
- Many students don’t even have a car or a computer. They use public transportation and computer labs on campus
- Meet their lifelong friends and/or partner while attending college
- Launch some of the most successful careers through networks you build during your college years. Use those networks years after you have left college
- Make better lifelong decisions | you become better long-term thinkers
- Enjoy your social life more
- Are more productive workers | learn discipline
- Have more money (to buy things like new cars)
- Family relationships are better – because “YOU” matter in the decision-making process (you have a say)
- Travel more in the summer when you learn about new places and events
- Social experiences are more enriched (games and activities) It’s huge at college
- If you work and go to college – you are amongst 70 or more% of those attending. If you are taking a full load, don’t work any more than 20 hours if you can. I understand that isn’t always the case – but shoot for that number if you can (20 hours). Many college students work on campus, doing campus jobs
- Internships are available to help place you in jobs outside of campus that meet your degree requirements. So be looking for those opportunities
The number one thing to remember when you walk into your college or university is that “they were expecting you”! They were expecting you, and you are accepted there with all your faults, dreams, and aspirations. They will help mold you, and fold you into the person you will become.
At the crossroad. Examples of friends
Are you a real friend? Then encourage your friends to follow their dreams. Not your dreams – but their dreams. If you do this, you may end up one of those lifelong friendships I spoke about above. Your friend will remember your encouragement to do the right thing. They hopefully should also encourage you to follow your dreams, but regardless, they have to follow the path that leads toward their goals. If they want to be a teacher – their teaching skills are needed now. There is a young student in their future who needs your friend now. So you will be encouraging not only your friend, but helping someone else you don’t even know.
At your 40-year class reunion remember that you got there because someone in the crowd told you “Follow your Dreams”. That is your lifelong friend. Greet them with open arms, friendship, and love.
For Taylor. Follow your dreams! Go Mavericks!