By Clint Younts
Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s hard to believe another school year is about over. How time flies, unless you’re a teacher or the parent of a student. I personally know an elementary school teacher whose bar tab might reach triple digits Friday night. I’ve got to give credit to all those educators out there who stuck it out through the pandemic, poor-mannered kids and the demands of wacky parents and school boards. Hats off to all teachers out there!
Now, there are millions of high school seniors who are fixin’ to graduate and leap headfirst into a murky future. Many will attend college as long as they receive a scholarship or have saved up a million bucks. Or they can get a college loan and pay that back long after they’re forced into early retirement. Some will go to a trade school and enter a profession where they might be called to build or repair something for a high school friend who didn’t learn simple home repairs after five years of living in a college dorm.
Many kids who are about to graduate just don’t know what to do or what to expect after they anxiously accept their diplomas from that principal they tried to avoid for the past 3 years. Yep, the future is not real bright right now. Some politicians are trying hard to clean up the mess while others keep scattering trash. Ecologists are begging us to save the trees and our water supply, but city officials are allowing developers to clear acres of drought-stricken woodlands to pour cement and asphalt to build new homes. It’s no wonder so many kids are taking anxiety meds.
Well, perhaps I can provide some sage advice to these teenagers who are about to be turned loose on the world. I don’t have all the answers, but I know a thing or two, and I don’t mind sharing some of my wisdom accumulated over six decades.
First of all, don’t believe everything you see on social media or on TV news. So much of that is skewed or simply fake news. Before accepting something as fact, investigate it first. And if you are still unsure of its validity, come see me at my ranch. We’ll take a stroll through the pasture and I’ll teach you how to distinguish top soil from cow manure.
Don’t go through life with a chip on your shoulder. Be kind to others. Make lots of friends and fewer enemies.
Take time to get outside and take in the beauty of nature before some city official thinks we need more apartment complexes.
Take control of your future. Vote for politicians who share your personal views and not some candidates who will sell their souls and votes for a bucket of dirty money.
Trust scientists over some drunken idiot sitting on the barstool next to you. If climate change is as bad as the scientists say, the older generation of non-believers won’t be around to say, “My bad! I thought it was a hoax”. It’s up to your generation to fix stuff my generation screwed up.
Just because pop idols dress like big city hookers doesn’t mean you young ladies should follow suit. If you want respect, dress for respect.
There’s no rule that says you have to stay at one job when you aren’t happy working there. But, I advise you to line up another job before going Johnny Paycheck in the boss’ office.
Don’t rush on making decisions about college or a career. Take a little time, see what’s out there and find what will make you happy.
Turn off your mobile device for a while and see what’s around you. And, please don’t text and drive or you may see tombstones around you.
Don’t spend a fortune at Starbucks when you can get a good cup of coffee for 40 cents from your Keurig.
I hope some of my advice helps you find happiness in your future. Congratulations on making it through 12 or more years of school. Hopefully, the next 12 years are good ones.