Advice To All Our Local Grads
By JOHN DERBY
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
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
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
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
So for the graduate who is asking the question, “What
do I do now?”
The answer is simple: “Do it all.”