My Message to Graduates

Thursday, May 25, 2017 Written by 
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As this school year comes to a close, graduates will, no doubt, think about the things they can finally leave behind like books, getting up early and going to classes they don’t like.  They’ll be glad to ditch the studying—even if only for a summer. 


If you are a graduate, there will be a lot of emphasis on what you’re graduating from, but there may not be much thought on what you will be graduating to. You may or may not know what’s next.  High school, college, graduate school,  a job or a year off to figure it out.  


There are many options.  But knowing what you are graduating to can provide you with the stability needed to sustain your vision.


The world that you are inheriting is very different from what your parents and grandparents experienced. Many of the things that gave us comfort are being steadily eroded— public health care systems like Medicaid and Medicare; retirement income from Social Security. There was a time when this country had systems in place to take care of the most vulnerable among us. 


While you are still young, and hopefully on track to earn substantially more money than family members in prior generations, it is important to take a hard look at where you are in relation to the collective whole.


Take health care for instance.  Today, the Congressional Budget Office released estimates on the cost of Donald Trump’s health care bill.  According to the numbers, some 23 million people would lose coverage by 2026.  As Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said, “Unless you are a healthy millionaire, Trump Care is a nightmare.”


Hopefully, your good health will last a long while, but try not to take it for granted.  You could very well be among those 23 million if the Republican healthcare bill were to pass the Senate as-is.


This is not to dampen your spirit, but to point out that any education that does not prepare you for the flipside of life is inadequate, regardless of the institution.


Whether you are graduating from middle school, high school or college, it’s a good idea to map out a solid Plan B or a “what if” scenario in case life doesn’t go as planned.


This is not to suggest that your Plan A won’t come true, but to give yourself some options and a way to keep hope alive.  Life is not a straight line—although it may feel that way when we hear all those wonderful commencement speeches.  Life is full of twists and turns and the more able you are at managing the ups and downs, the better.


Make your Plan B the best you can, but focus on your dream.   Then go out and have some serious fun. Inglewood Today salutes graduates of all ages and stages. Congratulations on a job well done.





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