What are you going to be when you grow up?
This is the question that has alternately bedeviled or inspired young people _ particularly those completing their high school educations _ for generations.
Themes for high school graduation speeches tend to dwell on the fact that graduates are embarking on a new path, setting out on their own and making their way in the world for the first time. And that conversation inevitably leads to talk about jobs.
If recent history offers any clues to the future, the young people graduating from high school this year will be many things when they "grow up."
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tracking a group of 10,000 Americans since 1979, when they were between 14 and 22 years old.
"So far, members of the group have held 10.8 jobs, on average, between ages 18 and 42," the Wall Street Journal reported in 2010.
That's an average of a new job every couple of years.
So how are young people supposed to plan for a lifetime of jumping from job to job _ particularly in a shaky economy?
It's not realistic to expect every high school graduate to have his or her entire career mapped out by the time they don a cap and gown. Heck, there are plenty of college graduates out there who are still struggling with that concept. But there are decisions that will have to be made.
For students entering college, they will soon be selecting classes and, eventually, deciding on a major. Other students will be entering the work force or the military. Some will begin a program of volunteer service with an organization such as Americorps or VISTA. Still others will be idle, trying to figure out the next step.
Each choice they make as they set out on these first steps of adulthood will influence the direction of their lives.
We live in a world that changes rapidly. Today's high school graduates barely knew a world without the Internet, cellphones and social media. We can't imagine the changes they will witness during their lifetimes.
So, rather than asking graduates what they want to be when they grow up, we ask them:
What do you love?
What are you good at?
What are you passionate about?
What brings you satisfaction?
If today's graduates can find ways to spend their lives doing the things that answer these questions, it will not matter how often they change jobs, or how many degrees they hold.
If today's graduates can achieve such a marriage of ability and affinity, they will be able to respond to the question, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" with the best answer of all:
What are you going to be when you grow up?
On our Opinion: Cheers
To the DEP's "The Watershed Experience," the Oneonta High School Envirothon team, and to ROPS rebate funding.Continued ...
Make sure you vote in school tax election
School superintendents have it anything but easy in these challenging economic times. In addition to dealing with myriad day-to-day and semester-to-semester issues, they have to have Solomon-like political acumen and management skills.Continued ...
Casino in our area worth talking about
If Gov. Andrew Cuomo has his way, casinos will be awarded to three upstate locations.Continued ...
Take precautions to prevent kidnappings
It has been nearly two weeks since the arrest of Ariel Castro in Cleveland on rape and kidnapping charges for acts that should send a chill through the spines of everyone in America.Continued ...
IRS, Justice actions violate our trust
After the recent actions of the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Justice Department, belief in the integrity of our government is hanging by a very slender thread.Continued ...
- Wednesday, May 15, 2013
After 40 years, it was time to get married
This newspaper publishes lots of wedding announcements, but one that appeared prominently in Monday's edition was especially heartwarming.Continued ...
- Tuesday, May 14, 2013
To three longtime public servants who recently announced their decisions to leave their posts.Continued ...
- Monday, May 13, 2013
Military culture of abuse must change
- Saturday, May 11, 2013
- Remember mothers on their day
- Friday, May 10, 2013
In Our Opinion: Cellphone alert system can only help
Since the early days of radio, broadcasters have been able to break into programming to alert listeners about dangerous situations.Continued ...
- Thursday, May 9, 2013
Home rule decision is good for all
What lawyer Thomas West called an "exit strategy" for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, we call common sense, plain and simple.Continued ...
- Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Internet tax would benefit local businesses
Let's suppose you're the owner of a bicycle business in our area, and a customer comes in to look at a new bike. He asks you questions about it, maybe even sits on it or takes it for a spin. He compares it with other models, looks at the color and checks out what would be the best size for him.Continued ...
- Tuesday, May 7, 2013
To the city of Oneonta's tree giveaway, the town of Hartwick's "Clean Sweep" day, and Bassett Healthcare's patient-centered medical home program.Continued ...
- Monday, May 6, 2013
In our opinion: Take steps to prevent fire tragedy
Oftentimes it takes a tragedy to remind us to do the little things that may save our lives.Continued ...
- Saturday, May 4, 2013
Collins deserves to be cheered
It's likely that unless you are a big basketball fan, you never heard of Jason Collins before Monday, when he became the first active player in any of the four major American professional sports to announce that he is gay.Continued ...
- Friday, May 3, 2013
College's amnesty policy can save lives
The statistics on overdoses among college-age Americans are downright sobering.Continued ...
- Thursday, May 2, 2013
Reality of sequester is scary enough
"Scare tactics" was a phrase used frequently by President Barack Obama's critics about the sequester.Continued ...
- Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Let LDC handle Manor sale
It's a dilemma, make no mistake about it.Continued ...
- Tuesday, April 30, 2013
In Our Opinion: Cheers
To OH-Fest, Kevin Rous for his fundraising derby car, and Cathy Decker on her Green Cap award.Continued ...
- Monday, April 29, 2013
- Keep working on common core test
- On our Opinion: Cheers