PI Editorial: Simple advice for this year’s graduates | PostIndependent.com

PI Editorial: Simple advice for this year’s graduates

Post Independent Editorial Board

This year’s graduating class has had an unprecedented high school experience. After all, the COVID-19 pandemic began the spring of their freshman year and brought stay-at-home orders, mask requirements, quarantine bubbles and more.

Their senior year was likely much closer to “normal” than their freshman and sophomore years, but we can’t help wondering how that experience will shape their lives as they go on to college, work, military service and more.

Reaching this milestone was no easy feat, and we congratulate them and their families on this remarkable achievement.

We also offer some unsolicited advice — high school graduation was ages ago for those of us on this board, and we like to think that some of the life lessons we’ve learned in the meantime might be helpful for those who are about to embark on the next stage of life. We prefer to avoid grandiosity and instead focus on a few simple things that have aided our growth and learning in adulthood.

First, keep a pen and paper handy. Many folks might scoff at this, but you’ll likely be surprised when and how this will come in handy. Love notes, impromptu recipe sharing, communication between convoying cars when phones don’t have service, directions, doodles, poems and more — there is a reason astronauts are still sent into space with pen and paper.

Second, learn to cook if you haven’t already. Tech-driven living has made it easy to lose touch with the satisfaction of making something for ourselves or those we care about, and cooking taps into that emotion deeply. You don’t have to start with anything highly involved — dialing in a grilled cheese sandwich is a great start and offers a lot of opportunity for variation and experimenting.

Third, figure out a way to unplug, if not for a few hours daily then at least a few times a week. We all spend too much time looking at glowing screens, and as great as it can be to constantly stay in touch with friends or know second-by-second what’s going on in life, it can also be isolating and depressing. Find time for yourself away from social media, phones, and all that hassle.

Finally, try to walk more than you drive. This is easier said than done in the American West, but you’ll learn so much more about your community — and see so many little stories unfold — if you make the effort to get around by foot. You’ll feel seasons more deeply, have more opportunity to pet a neighborhood cat or dog, meet people you wouldn’t otherwise, and generally learn more about yourself at the same time.

Again, none of these are meant to be life-changing, but the little things add up and we’ve found these to be some of our favorites.

The Post Independent editorial board members are Publisher/Editor Peter Baumann, Managing Editor/Senior Reporter John Stroud, and community representatives Mark Fishbein and Amy Connerton.

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