The Howland Community News would like to congratulate all students who graduated from Howland High School last week.
It has been a very long time since my own graduation. So long, in fact, that I am hesitant to try to count the years that have passed. However, a lot has happened during those year, much of which I would never take back, even if I could. Other things, I may be willing to change, but wonder if those changes would have made a difference in the person I am today.
I'm sure that as you prepare to step toward receiving that diploma, many of your adult friends and relatives have been quick to offer advice for your future. Before you tune out the voices and roll your eyes toward the backs of your heads, remember that the advice you are given may not resonate from great knowledge or achievement, but most assuredly it comes from a multitude of lifetime experiences. Whether you accept it or not is up to you. Whether you even listen to it or not also is up to you. But jumping on the bandwagon, as is human nature, I offer you a bit of advice as well. Take it or not. The choice is yours.
l Eat real food. Lay off over-processed, unrecognizable imitation food-like products that are created to make us think we are eating something worthwhile. If it doesn't look like what it started as being, don't eat it. It might not affect you now, but 20 or 30 years from now, you will grow to regret the effects of too much sugar, too much greasy fat and too much plain, white starch.
l Don't be in a hurry. We spend so much time rushing from one thing to the next and from one place to the next that at one point you will stop and wonder how you got there and what went on in-between. If you don't think this sentence makes sense now, wait a few years. You will.
l Obey the rules, but don't be afraid to question them. Even more importantly, don't be afraid of the fight it might take to change the rules you believe are unfair.
l When you get to those high places within society and your career, continue to respect your subordinates. They are the ones who got you where you are whether you want to admit it or not. Remember your beginnings.
l Make new friends along the way and ignore your enemies.
l Capture your moments. Write them down or photograph not just important events, but minor events as well. You will be amazed at what you will forget when the day comes that you want to remember.
l Don't be embarrassed to grieve over your losses. Grieve well, and then move on.
l Don't smoke and wear sunscreen. These are self-explanatory.
l Remember what your parents taught you. Say ''thank-you'' and ''you're welcome,'' and use your inside voices. Remember that even adults need a time-out once in a while.
l And in that vein: Love your parents. Parenting is primarily a ''learn as you go'' job. Sometimes we make mistakes, but our intentions are good. Be patient with us.
l Take responsibility for your own actions. Everything that goes wrong isn't always someone else's fault. Learn to tell the difference and remember your mistakes. You will make mistakes. We all do. Don't end up standing in the shadows because you are blocking your own sunshine.
l In the end, it's all about the fun we have along the way.