Advice for the cap and gown wearer

ANOTHER SCHOOL YEAR is coming to an end, and that means it is graduation time for seniors in our high schools and colleges. Our students are growing into adulthood and before long, they must take responsibility, not only for their livelihood, but for what they plan to do for the rest of their lives. The importance of education can’t be stressed enough and how necessary education is if they are to be successful in today’s highly competitive world.

Those who finish high school usually continue their education and go to college. It is a big help if they have a solid foundation for study, for going to the library to do research and have a desire to do a lot of reading. Hopefully, they will mature during those four years in college and prepare themselves well for a lifetime of happiness and success.

The ones who just finished college hope to obtain positions in business, finance, technology and industry. And many of them will be successful, if they did their best, studied hard and made the necessary sacrifices to succeed.

Of course, not all our students are going to be doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, nurses or obtain jobs in computer sciences and fields of technology. We still need plumbers, electricians, mechanics, carpenters and all the other trades which also require an education and a strong work ethic. They are all noble professions.

There is nothing wrong with earning a living by the sweat of one’s brow. Our country was built by people who worked hard for a living. The finest people I have ever met in my life are those who worked in the mines and mills and in the trades. They raised families who are a credit to society.

Our high school graduates and those still in school have a wealth of opportunities ahead of them. However, no one is going to hand those opportunities to them. They have to work and study and be ready for the competition they will face when they get out into the real world.

I hope that during their high school days, they laid a foundation for study, obtained good grades and were fortunate to get scholarships., I have often heard too many young people say, “If only I had studied more … I wish I had the chance to do it all over again …”

Don’t waste the opportunity that is yours. Yes, it takes hard work and sacrifice, but in the end, it will pay dividends.

I remember my mom telling me about the importance of education. She told me my brothers and sisters did not have the opportunity to go to college, “but you do. So, go and make the best of it and don’t waste your time and money.”

Last year, I received a letter from a man who wrote that Abraham Lincoln’s stepmother was completely illiterate. However, she strongly encouraged Lincoln to read, to study and to get as much education as he could so he could achieve what he wanted in life.

It is very important for parents and teachers, too, to take an interest in the education of children. Once they graduate, and if they are not prepared for life, it may be too late.

Education requires teamwork between the parent, teacher and student, and none of them must fail. If any of the players falter, it can mean a collapse of the process, and the one who will suffer the most is the student.

Parents must especially take an interest in the child’s education If they do, then the child will tend to do better work. Remember, home is where the educational process begins and the parents are the primary teachers. Children spend more time at home than they do in school So, help them with their homework and make sure they do it. Require them to study and ask them questions about their courses. Show an interest and offer advice, talk to their teachers and correct any problems early. Being a conscientious parent is an awesome responsibility.

Remember to hug your children and tell them how much they are loved, and if they need discipline, do it with love and not anger. Make certain that when they leave home in the morning, they are well-fed, well-rested and neatly dressed. Impress on them the importance of living good lives and of abiding by strict standards of morality.

Impress on your children the importance of reading good books and show them by example. Give them responsibility and make them earn their spending money. Doing little things around the house won’t hurt them.

Teachers also have a tremendous responsibility. They have the opportunity to change the life of a student for the better and to serve as a role model. They must come to the classroom prepared for what they are to teach, and they must challenge their students to do their best. However, they must have the cooperation of the parents to succeed. No teacher, no matter how dedicated, can do it by himself or herself. A teacher once told me that “education is a three-pronged attack.”

To those students who will return to school in the fall, we urge you to study, get good grades and prepare yourselves well for the future. Remember, no matter what you plan to do, you must have a quality education to succeed. As my mother would say, “Don’t waste the opportunity.”

We congratulate those students who finished high school. If you plan to go to college, study and get good grades. Take advantage of that wonderful opportunity.

To those who completed college, it is our prayerful wish that your future will be filled with health, happiness and success. Be grateful to mom and dad who made the sacrifices for you to go to college. Someday, you will recall with love those who helped you make a difference in your life.