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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • Graduation season in Watonwan County

  • Only one year ago I was graduating from school and beginning my search for gainful employment. I’d like to take a moment to wish the graduates of Watonwan County good luck in whatever they choose to do with their high school education.
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  • Get out your pulled pork and taco in a bag appetites because it is officially graduation season!
    Only one year ago I was graduating from school and beginning my search for gainful employment. I’d like to take a moment to wish the graduates of Watonwan County good luck in whatever they choose to do with their high school education.
    For me, high school graduation meant I would be going to college. My  first adult mistake was attending a college that was way too expensive while I was still unaware of what I wanted to study in school.
    I began my education believing I would become a psychiatrist or some kind of doctor. It was only a few months into school when I realized I was never going to get into psychiatry school and I was completely bored by the notion of studying the inside of people’s heads for the rest of my life.
    So, I did what I should have done from the beginning and took a year off from school. My advice to anyone thinking about starting college, but unsure about their future is to take a moment and think about your options. It isn’t necessary to start school immediately. Find out what you’re interested and give the career a shot.
    I thought I was interested in mental health, so I began working at a mental hospital. I realized after a year working full-time at the hospital that I wasn’t interested in psychiatry at all. What I found was that I liked writing ­– and I learned I could turn that into a career.
    I transferred from Concordia College in Moorhead across the street to Minnesota State University Moorhead and began writing and editing publications and tutoring students. I was immersed in a culture of my interests and really developed as a writer.
    Which brings me to my second piece of advice: it’s not what school you attend, but what you put into your education. Of course some schools are going to be better than others in certain subjects – but if you don’t take the time to learn and practice your skills, you won’t be affective when you’re done and you’ve graduated.
    I chose Concordia initially because I wanted to play soccer and I wanted to live in Moorhead. Those were really the only reasons for my choice. Five years later I realize that was a foolish decision. I heard advice from a financial planner about how you should choose what you are willing to spend on your education.
    The financial planner said the amount of loans you take out should be almost equal to the amount you expect to make from your wages after your first year of work outside of college.
    Page 2 of 2 - So, if a journalist is supposed to make $30,000 a year, a journalism student should only have loans of about $30,000 for schooling. Of course if you can avoid going into debt while attending school that is the best option. However, that isn’t an option for many graduating seniors – it certainly wasn’t for me.
    Other than that, enjoy yourself. Make new friends and try new things. Take chances and have fun – and don’t forget to open up a book once and awhile. Take advantage of university resources, join clubs and study hard. Nothing offers greater opportunity than pursuing a fully-immersive college education.
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