Advice for a New Life

Teachers give lifelong advice to graduating seniors.

Rosie Frederick

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Every year students come and go. Some are entering a new life of high school and some are entering a new life of college and career. As seniors leave, they may not know where they’re going, so here’s some advice from teachers to fill heads with advice for a new life.


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English teacher Chuck Zavos said he would remind his younger self daily that the future is not to be worried about. “Balance and moderation. Do not simply focus on the present or the future,” Zavos said. “Have fun, but temper that with bettering yourself. Joy is doing what you love to the best of your ability and sharing it with others.”


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English teacher Briday Ware advises students to never settle for less than they deserve. Not in a job and especially not in a relationship. “Keep looking for the right job that you’ll enjoy every day,” Ware said. “Wait until you find the right person; they’re looking for you too.” Ware has seen the idea of never settling in her family, through her grandfather. “My Grandpa took a job where he was miserable every day,” Ware said. “You spend a lot of time at work. So finding something that makes you happy is important.”


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Every year, English teacher Kelsie Kleinmeyer gives her senior students a document filled with advice she has acquired through her own years of high school and college. It includes everything from things to be careful of in the dorms to attitude adjustments and responsibilities to consider. “I think it helps my students to have some tangible advice from someone who has been there,” Kleinmeyer said. “I think having this advice in high school would have been helpful,” Kleinmeyer said. “I was able to figure most of it out in the moment, but I think having this advice would have helped me avoid some problems and issues along the way.”


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“Don’t be afraid to take a risk or change your mind,” English teacher Serena Comegys said. “If something isn’t for you, let it go and move on. The important thing is to keep moving forward.”


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Industrial Technology teacher Josh Jacobs recommends if you aren’t ready for college right after high school, take some time off. “In hindsight, I should of taken some time off between high school and college. I definitely wasn’t ready even though I thought I had my future mapped out pretty well,” Jacobs said. Jacobs focused on working full time. “This was great for my bank account, but ultimately I knew I wanted to finish my degree,” Jacobs said. “I went to four different colleges, which I wouldn’t recommend, but I absolutely recommend taking your time in picking a major. Spend some time getting to know people in the field you are interested in before committing all of that time and money. You may find out that the reality of a job is not how it seems on paper.” In high school Jacobs felt pressured into going to college right away. “I wish there was more emphasis on careers that don’t require college,” Jacobs said. “While college is great, and I ultimately enjoyed my experience, it took me several tries to find the right fit. Believe it or not, I started leaving my college degree off of my resume before becoming an educator because I found that employers were far less interested in my degree than they were my work experience.”


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“Be persistent, no matter what you do,” German teacher Christine Hernandez said. “If you are going to college or choosing a different career be persistent. Set goals and finish them. Some goals will take a long time to complete, be persistent. Stick to your goal to accomplish it. Don’t give up.”


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“Decide what is important to you, and put your time and energy toward trying to achieve that,” math teacher Eniola Ajayi said. “Also work hard, but don’t forget to play.”


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“Life is too short to not like what you’re doing,” visual arts teacher Julie Miller said. “If you plan on going to college, make sure you attend classes, do your best and at least take one class from the degree you ‘think’ you want to major in your first year.


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“Decide where to spend your time and energy,” chemistry teacher Stuart Jorgensen said. “Look around, and you’ve got friends for life, be it academics, employment or military.”