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Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Next Generation – Naperville High School Graduations

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The Class of 2019 is graduating from Naperville area high schools this month. Ceremonies, fireworks, parties, fat checks from grandma and grandpa – it’s all going down this month. Graduating from high school is a huge step, even though most kids (myself included) don’t realize it at the time.

For the first time in your life you can choose your own path. Yeah, you get a few choices in high school: biology or chemistry? Algebra or statistics? Burger or chicken sandwich? Ultimately, however, these choices aren’t important. Passing all your classes means you’ll graduate. If you get the burger today, you can get the chicken sandwich tomorrow.

College allows you to choose your own adventures. What do you want your focus to be? Can you get a degree taking only classes you want? Is it OK to skip class so you can toss some disc in the quad? These questions can only be answered on an individual basis.

Not going to college also allows you to choose your own adventures. Do you start working right away? Should you take any community college courses? Should you live at home with your family or rent a place with some friends? Only you have the answers, except for the last one. The correct answer is stay at home for as long as you can! Trust me on this, I moved out soon after college and was flat broke for over a year.

I graduated from Naperville North High School in 2004. Here’s my direct advice to any students graduating now: Have fun, but not too much fun. Don’t procrastinate. Turn off your phone when you’re studying or writing essays. Keep an open mind (both in class and at social events). Try new things. Get ready for debt.

I focused too much on partying and not enough on studying, ignoring a lot of great things happening at college and at home. Keep it balanced and enjoy being your own person.

Apologies to the parents of graduating students in District 204 – driving to NIU then sitting through 900 students getting their name called, then taking pictures, then driving back… It’s gonna be a long day.

That said, Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

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Wil Anderson
Wil Andersonhttps://oswaldspharmacy.com/
Wil Anderson is a lifelong Naperville resident and manager at Oswald's Pharmacy in Naperville Plaza.
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