Apalachin Community Press, July 2000


by Jane Vest

Graduation is behind us. The schools and the universities have opened the floodgates and thousands of young people have been launched into the Real World with all its advantages and all its pitfalls. Many will go on to further study, safe in the arms of academia for another four to eight years, but others will have to face "what's out there."

It is scary. The real world has its own rhythm, which is not segmented by the sound of classroom bells. It is "rise and shine."

Storefronts are filled with posters seeking employees. Jobs are everywhere, many on the lower levels and those who are more qualified are snapped up by the so-called headhunters for more complicated jobs.

All well and good but -- and there is always a 'but' -- does the work ethic factor into these calculations? You may or may not have cut classes or been indifferent about attending school, but you can't do that with a job and get away with it. Some people work just for the pay and put in as little effort as possible. These are no winners. Each individual is responsible for his or her own actions, and those actions carry him or her into the future. A long lifetime of productivity stretches before you; you may change jobs at intervals, but you must earn your living or accept family backup or public assistance. Will there be social security up ahead or is there enough foresight to provide a cushion for retirement?

Then there is the American Dream in which all positive conditions are realized. May these graduates go on to fulfill their hopes and dreams for the future and attain the American Dream.