Graduating from school is a scary moment as you find yourself facing a million possibilities for your future. What path to take? What door to open?
The world celebrates your success of going through years of school and meeting all requirements that allow you to exit from the stage with a diploma in hand.
But now what?
I remember that I couldn’t wait for the constraints of school to end, for the break from the daily routine of going to school, doing homework, studying for exams and spending all that time on things that seemed so pointless. It was not until later that I saw the merit of the discipline that was instilled in me to push through when things got tough. Of the knowledge acquired in the process. Of the methods learned on how to learn and what tools to use.
Now you find yourselves having reached your goal of graduating and with reaching that particular goal, a vacuum sets in until you have set a new goal.
Take a breath and enjoy your achievement, but don’t rest on your laurels for too long.
Some of you may decide to go on college. Some may take a year to explore what professional path you want to take. Some of you may want to enter the work force and start making money to support yourselves and maybe the family.
It is a big step to leave that protected world of high school, may it be in Nome or the surrounding communities.
Now it’s time for you to grow your wings, step out of the nest and explore the world. Go to where nobody speaks English. Go to where you are the foreigner. Go to a place where the food, the language, the customs are different. When you come back home, you will have grown exponentially and have knowledge that no textbook can teach you.
Your job now is to become a good citizen of the world. Use your upbringing, your education, your culture and your values to help make this earth a better place. Go and meet the world! Best luck to you and stay safe. — D.H.—