Dear Class of 2017
You have just finished twelve long years of school and you should be very proud of your accomplishments. I know that probably the last thing that you want is even more school. Please take it from me that now is the time to get a degree or at least get a certified in something that can help you provide for your future family.
When I graduated High School I was eager to start life and school was just something that I did to bide the time between High School and the rest of my life.
When I went to college and was on the major of the month plan. I went for two years, but changed my mind so many times I was only about halfway to an associates degree after three years. I didn’t know who I was so I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I piddled around until life found me. I met and married the man of my dreams we had three amazing daughters and I spent my days as a stay at home mom homeschooling our kids.
I was living the dream I had the perfect Norman Rockwell family. College was always something I would get too someday when the kids grew up and didn’t need me so much.
I know its hard to believe but raising three daughters isn’t exactly a marketable skill so when my husband passed away from cancer leaving me with three young children I was not in a place to be able to support my family on my own. That ethereal someday finishing college had to happen a lot sooner than I had planned.
I did a bunch of personality and job skills tests and decided I was going to pursue Communications. I finished my degree in three years. The day I graduated with my BS in Communications was one of the best moments of my life. Then I started the hunt for employment.
When you are my age and you are looking for employment most of the people you apply to are looking for people who are ready to manage and lead not someone who is entry level.
I encourage you to learn from my errors. I would not change one moment of my life. My husband gave me a gift to be able to stay at home with my kids and sew into their lives as much as I did. I look at the amazing people they are today and I can’t regret a moment with them.
I do wish I could go back to 18-year-old me and give myself a good shake. The phrase “I can always go back to school later” is almost laughable on this side of life. Yeah, you can, but going to school at 18 with not a care in the world or going to school as a single mom living on social security and student loans which sound easier?”
Take the time to at the very least get an associate or a technical certificate in something. Have the skill to support yourself and your family. I will be painfully honest, life on 13 bucks an hour is not a very comfortable life.
I know you are tired of school and want to get on with the rest of your life. Make sure you take the time to find out who you are aside from your parents or what you did in high school. All the labels and clicks in high school are all gone now. There is a whole new blank canvas to create the most beautiful life you can. What are you placed on this Earth to do? What skills do you have to help you provide for your family?
Out of all the questions, I wished I answered “Who am I?” the most. It wasn’t fair to my husband or my children for them to become my identity. I was nothing if I wasn’t Gary’s wife or so and so’s Mom.
The movies tell you High School is the best years of your life, that is not true. The best years of your life are starting now. The changes you will go through between 18 and 30 will blow your mind. The people and friends that you make during this time of your life will be with you for the rest of your life. Enjoy the here and now and take every opportunity and experience that comes your way. It will make you a better spouse, employee, and parent one day.
Congratulations to the Class of 2017 welcome to the rest of your life.