Some Advice To All Our Local Grads

By JOHN DERBY
Times Publisher
May 30, 2019

Editor’s Note: The following is a Legacy column by Publisher John Derby that was first published 14 years ago, on June 2, 2005.

For the graduate, there will be a lot of pressure to determine where he or she is going in the future.
To them we say: Don’t give in to that pressure. Go into the future at your own pace.
When we were your age, we felt the same pressure. Fresh out of high school, everyone wanted to know what we were going to be. It was as if we had crossed some kind of threshold at graduation and suddenly knew more about our self than we had ever known before.
We went to college --- the first year as a history major, the second as an accounting and business major.
The third year we switched to a math major, only to change back to a social science major before graduating (after five years).
Only now, after being a journalist for 44 years, do we realize how little it really mattered what we think we are going to be in life.
Life makes its own paths which we cannot see until we get to them.
The best preparation for those paths is the preparation for all eventualities. Learn everything we can, because someday, in some small way, we will need it.
This writer barely survived Typing 1-A, but can now type 60 to 70 words per minute and compose at the same time. The accounting has been essential in operating a small business, but it might have helped if there was a class in auto mechanics thrown in for good measure.
Foreign language becomes important every time we go to Europe or Mexico, and without math we could never figure out how to navigate.
Take courses you like, even if they are not in your major. Courses may involve hidden dreams which in time may become more than a pastime. A good example was the photography course we took just because we like to play around with cameras. Who would have thought we would take thousands of rolls of film in our job, or have to learn the techniques of digital photography.
Above all listen to your inner self. Feeling right about what we do is perhaps the most important lesson in life. Many people spend a whole lifetime feeling wrong about what they are doing everyday. It’s a terrible price to pay. No amount of money can repay that inner self for the loss of credibility. To have the feeling of accomplishment is the true reward to life, all else is secondary.
Finally, it could well take a lifetime to get that feeling of accomplishment.
So for the graduate who is asking the question, “What do I do now?”
The answer is simple: “Do it all.”


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