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The Blue and White

The Blue and White

Dear students: lessons that come with age

Alex Cardona

Dear Students:

I hope the year is treating you well. A couple of weeks ago I turned 50. This seems as good a time as any to start handing out advice like an old person. So here are five things I think you should consider.

  1.  Take care of your teeth.  I didn’t when I was a younger person and I’ve been paying for it in financial and physical suffering for years. You’re probably going to live to be nearly 90 years old, make sure your teeth make it that long as well.
  2.  I think it’s better to do a few things with passion than to do a lot of things without it. I see students spread thin over classes, activities, clubs, volunteering opportunities, etc.  At this point in life your most valuable commodity is your time, don’t give it to things where your heart isn’t.
  3.  Along the same lines, deepen your friendships.  One of the odd trends that teachers have noticed over the last handful of years is the way students sign yearbooks. In the past, it was not unusual for close friends to write an entire page to one another. These days, I see a lot of plain signatures with nothing more than an inside joke or something simple. That worries me. Spend your high school years getting to know some people very well. Those friendships could very possibly last a lifetime.
  4.  Learning doesn’t just happen between 8:30 and 3:30. I hope you’re reading something or listening to podcasts or in some other way increasing your knowledge and sharpening your mind. Learning done by choice is much more pleasurable than learning done by requirement.
  5. Be kind to each other. No matter what you’ve been through, you’ve been through something. It’s logical to understand that everyone around you has as well. It’s easier to judge and quickly dismiss people. But it’s certainly more human to hope for the best for them and to help them on their way. You might not be able to offer more than a kind word or a simple gesture. Don’t underestimate how powerful a genuine gesture of kindness is in making someone’s day better.

Be good to each other,

Mr. Holliday

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    Tina van den HeeverMar 14, 2024 at 11:01 am

    Fantastic advice! And love this column. What a great idea!
    Tina van den Heever – Journalism teacher at Santa Maria High School