By John Matonich
This is an interesting time of the year for many folks. It can be both a time to celebrate as well as a time to be a little concerned. I mention that because this is the time of year when many of our young folks graduate from either high school or college. It is a time to celebrate because of the graduations, but for many it is also a time to be a little concerned as one chapter closes and another opens up.
The unknown also can cause a grad’s family to be a little concerned. Choices seem to be many and as always, there are no guarantees. I understand this concern very much and have been around enough years to have seen it many times. All I can say is that if you do the best you can in choosing a direction, you will have every opportunity to have a bright future.
We have changed a lot as a society over the years, but to me it still centers on making the best choices you can. When I was young, I remember being told by my mother that she had an offer after high school from a family to be their nanny and they would pay for her college education. She really wanted to continue her education, but my grandfather would allow it. He really didn’t see the need for her to get a college education since he felt marriage and a family would be her job. While I am glad about the family part, I think she was extremely intelligent and it would have been interesting to see where a college education would have taken her.
I am not sure if it is accurate, but I was told once that my dad was the only male in his family to even graduate from high school. The other 3 boys left school early to answer the call of the mines that were open at the time. My dad ended up there too, but he did get a high school diploma. His sisters all finished school and one aunt went on to college and had a great career teaching.
When I was in high school a zillion years ago, there were opportunities to go in several directions. While many went off to a university, a lot of others found great opportunities in the trades and have had great careers as electricians, carpenters and the like. We couldn’t do too much without the expertise that is found in the trades.
I am glad to see that the push for an education in the trades has returned. I think over the years, too much emphasis has been placed on university degrees without consideration of other options. There is certainly a need for all walks of life.
I was very fortunate to be able to choose a path that has worked out for me and I can only hope that all of the grads this year have the same thing for them. While there will be some bumps in all of our roads, a positive outlook and a little hard work will provide a good path to a bright future no matter what road is chosen.
And that’s the situation as I survey it.
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.