Looking forward

Stanley Oliver
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Stan's Stance

Stanley Oliver

This time of the year, I find my mind wondering back to when I graduated from high school; what an exciting time. I also recall that studying for exams was always more difficult because the NHL playoffs were on and the weather was so good.

Nice long evenings with excellent temperatures. I can remember and wishing - why doesn't it rain all exam week?

But for many, it is also a time of confusion, deep reflection (even though we didn't know we were deep in thought) and to a certain extent, anxiety. What will the future hold? What career path will I take? What will I study in university or college? Should I even go to post-secondary school? Heavy questions for young people indeed.

Graduation time should be a time of celebration, not anxiety and dread. It should be a time to step back and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Just for a little while, set aside any feelings of fears about the future and simply enjoy how far you have already come. You have achieved a major milestone.

Congratulations to all the high school graduates of 2014.

Some parents (not all mind you) have very high expectations for their children. Are they too high? My stance? This is a normal feeling and expectation, as long we as parents don't actually add to that anxiety.

I am quite sure as parents, we just want what is best for our children, thus why we sometimes place these high expectations on our kids to follow a systematic process that includes graduating high school, going to a good college/university, getting good grades, obtaining a well-paying job with benefits, having children of their own, working hard for 25-30 years and eventually retiring.

Well folks, I am here to tell you that is not always the case and you know what? That is OK.

Now for all you new high school graduates who recently just graduated, the world can seem to be a scary place, with many unknowns and challenges. But again, that's OK. We all have been there at some time in our lives. Not that I am an expert on this issue, but I would like to offer a few comments, thoughts and a few tips to help you think a maybe cope a little better as you move through this stage of your life.

Look at college/university as an opportunity for you to broaden your personal horizons. I can tell you, some of the best memories and friends I made were during my university days at Memorial. Don't think about it as just gaining a piece of paper; think about is it as an investment in lifelong learning and career planning. View college/university as a chance to expand your life rather than lesson your choices and I assure you will be happier while participating in all your study requirements.

Study something that you enjoy and want to work at. Why would you want to get up every day and go somewhere that makes you feel uncomfortable? Remember, it's important to consider something that is worth pursuing for you; something you like.

Set realistic goals that will help you consider what you want in life from an employment perspective. You want to think about your personal attributes that include your own interests, talents and skills. This may seem a little silly and I am sure most graduates have heard it before but think about "Where you see yourself in five-10-20 years.

Seek advice from others because my friends, you don't have to make this decision solely on your own. Speak to friends, family, and teachers and of course career advisors. Ask them about their own opinions and experiences. You may be pleasantly pleased and somewhat surprised at the insightful feedback you receive.

So my final thoughts and straight forward advice on this very serious topic to all the wonderful young people in our communities is: take your time, have patience, seek advice and follow your heart and I am sure all we be revealed one day and one decision at a time.

- Stan Oliver writes from Happy Valley-Goose Bay and can be reached at stanoliver1965@gmail.com

Organizations: NHL

Geographic location: Happy Valley, Goose Bay

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