Minnesotans for Better Education, Standards and Testing

Minnbest is a non-partisan, broad based coalition of parents, educators and school advocacy groups who believe excellent public education is a foundation of democracy in America.

5/29/2004

Good advise is hard to come by these days

Here is some excellent advise from today's Strib letters.

To the graduates

Hello. This is my graduation speech.

First, don't rush to college. If you don't like sitting in a classroom, what makes you think you're going to like sitting in a college classroom? And after you graduate, what makes you think you'll like sitting in an office eight to 10 hours a day? So take some time off before you blow $100,000 on a college education you may not really want.

Money makes the world go round. Sure love is grand, but it won't pay the rent. You will need a skill. That doesn't mean college; become a plumber, carpenter, X-ray technician -- just get a skill in the next two to three years. You can be 22 years old with a skill or 22 years old and still working a minimum-wage job.

Start your own business. Don't like your boss or working for other people? Hey, you're young, no obligations; what service can you provide people? If you work in a pizza parlor, you know how to make pizza; open your own shop. If you work in a coffee house, you know how the business runs; open your own coffee shop. If you want it badly enough, you can do it.

Don't rush to get married. People change a lot between 20 and 30. A lot! So get married as late as you can -- know yourself before you stick another person with you.

Don't buy stuff. It won't make you happy. That means a new car, a big-screen TV, a deluxe stereo system. Take that money and invest it in stocks. In five years your new car will be an old piece of rust; your stocks will appreciate.

What makes you happy are moments. Sipping coffee with a friend, laughing with your relatives, taking a walk on a nice day. Enjoy the moments and they will add up to a contented life.

Travel. If you have lived in the same state your whole life, it's time to get out. Your family and friends will be there when you get back. Try something new. You don't want to be 80, sitting in a rocking chair, realizing you've never gone anywhere.

Philip Theibert, Richfield.