Congratulations! Keep learning, graduates

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By Frank Wessling

Congratulations to this year’s graduates. Whether it feels more like relief or achievement — probably some of each — you have reached an important point in your life. Choices about the road ahead are more on your shoulders now.

If you are looking for a job, be ready for what may be a long and difficult search while the current economic uncertainty persists. Be ready, as well, to think about continuing your education in some way, not only to appear as a better worker to employers but to continue growing as a person.

This is especially important if you’re a high school graduate and haven’t planned on further schooling, but the college bachelor’s degree is also not an end point for life learning. You will meet constant pressure and incentives to continue vocational training, whether as an accountant, salesman, trainer, welder, manager or cook. That track will appear valuable because you want to earn a decent income. But also never forget that there is always more to appreciate and learn as a human being.

You are not the limited person today that you were 10 or 15 years ago. Ten years down the road you will not be the person you are today. Will those years see you continuing to grow in knowledge and wisdom, or will you slack off and begin a long dulling and narrowing of your vision?

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Don’t do that. Continue to be a broad learner, an inquirer in wide interests, and pause now and then to dig deeply into something new. This will, in almost all situations, be good for your bottom line as a worker but, more importantly, also help make you a better and more interesting person.


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