Some advice to our graduates

The school year is winding down (the last official day is tomorrow), and Custer High School has already said goodbye to another 64 students, as the annual commencement ceremony was held last Saturday afternoon at the Armory. The Custer High School Class of 2024 has its diplomas in hand, and is officially off into the real world. Now is when the work really begins.
High school graduation is a joyous and pivotal time in your life, but it can also be a stressful time. Your thoughts go from what you are going to wear to school that day, whether or not that boy in seventh hour likes you, and whether or not you will win the big game happening Saturday. Now, your worries become much more adult, and much more real.
A case can be made that it is harder than ever to be a young adult. Many of you are headed off to college, and with that often comes a mountain of debt followed by an uncertain economy and job future. With interest rates and the price of homes this day and age, it can be harder than ever to achieve the American dream. Sometimes it’s going to seem downright unfair—but fair is a place children go to show their pigs. Life can be tough sometimes.
You’ll be pulled in every direction imaginable when you get to your campus, and you’ll need to find a balance between work, play and study. Be true to yourself, set boundaries and remember the reason you are there—to get a degree to set yourself up for the future.
One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give you is a simple one, but one that can be tough to follow—don’t get yourself into too much debt. Another thing you’ll find when you arrive on campus is a bevy of credit card companies wanting to give you credit cards at outrageous interest rates. Take it from some of us on staff—tread lightly when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, it’s nice to establish credit, but before too long you’re using the card to buy things you don’t really need, whether it’s beer, pizza, etc., etc. Remember you have to pay that back some day, one way or the other.
The biggest thing you can control is your outlook. There are going to be tough days—really tough days—but the good will always outweigh the bad. Whether it’s the loss of a family member, not getting that job you wanted, getting fired from that job you loved, financial issues—whatever—remember there are always going to be things that happen to you during the course of your life you can’t control. What you can always control is the way you handle disappointment. Things always get better, even when it seems like the world is out to get you.
Don’t be in too big of a hurry to grow up. Enjoy your youth. Baz Luhrman said it best in his song “Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen)” when he said, “Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded, but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.”
Congratulations, graduates. We know you will accomplish big things. Oh, and wear sunscreen.


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