Grads should slow down, enjoy life

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A great philosopher once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

That philosopher was Ferris Bueller.

OK. So maybe calling “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller” a philosopher is a stretch, but there’s no denying that those are wise words.

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The truth is our 4G world moves a lot faster than things did back in 1986 when Ferris shared that little gem. That makes it even more important for us to stop from time to time and glance at what’s going on around us.

With hundreds of students closing the book on their high school careers, this is one of those times to slow things down and take a look around because a 10-year reunion is just around the corner for these soon-to-be graduates.

Here’s my advice to the Class of 2012.

Slow down and enjoy it.

While my expanding waist and receding hairline would suggest that I’m too old to remember what it’s like to be on the brink of graduating high school, I actually do have a vague recollection of those days.

I remember what it’s like to want to walk out the doors of your high school for the last time and never look back.

Look back. Reflect on the 13 years you spent to get to this point. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

Hug your parents and your teachers. Enjoy the ceremonies and the speeches lauding your accomplishments. You should be proud. But don’t be so proud that you start to believe you did this all on your own. You didn’t. There were parents, brothers and sisters, teachers and friends that helped you get to this point. For this season, you’re the star. The spotlight will be squarely on you, and rightfully so, but don’t forget all the “little people” that made it possible.

Make sure to celebrate. It’s not every day you graduate. For most, it will be four or five years before you do it again. But be smart. Don’t let alcohol or other lapses in judgment mar the memory of an otherwise joyous time in your life.

And finally, you’ve now got a fancy piece of paper that says you are educated. Whether you go to college or join the workforce, don’t let that piece of paper keep you from continuing to learn.

“Your schooling may be over, but remember that your education still continues.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2012.