Graduates, take time to explore life

July 3, 2012

By Contributor

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A collective sigh of relief can be heard across the district from graduates of the Issaquah and Renton school districts.

No longer will they have to endure the most frequent question asked of high school teens: “What are your plans after you graduate?”

By now the graduates know the answer and so do those who asked the question repeatedly for four years. The answer, of course, is most likely what all graduates before them have answered: Go to college or technical school, join the military, get a job, get married or take time off and then decide.

Congratulations to all. But special applause for those who have a next step that ends with “then decide.”

Too often teens are encouraged to have a life plan in place by the time they are handed a high school diploma. Today’s reality is that plans will change as young people go on to discover interests they never knew they had. And once they get it figured out, the road may bend, taking them in a new direction altogether. Throw in changing technology, an unknown economy and myriad other of life’s hiccups.

The best post-high school answer to future plans might be “expand my knowledge and skills.” Learning to appreciate education for education’s sake will create a foundation for life, for understanding of diverse people and interests, and foster better citizenship.

A well-rounded education is a goal in the districts, but too often high school students get caught up in the pursuit of specific classes to gain entrance into a specific college that they don’t make time for the electives. Parents and faculty can help by encouraging students to explore life.

What are your plans after college?

Explore life. Now there’s an answer you’ve got to love.

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