Upon the occasion of the Sun Prairie High School Class of 2021’s graduation, allow us to offer some unsolicited advice:
• You will experience more failure and setbacks in your lives. Not that COVID-19 wasn’t enough of a hurdle, but there will be other challenges you will face individually.
If you deal with them as adequately or better than dealing with COVID-19, you will learn something about yourself and how to overcome future challenges.
• You are not through with learning. Even those not advancing to post-secondary education will continue to learn things for the rest of their lives. Of course, those continuing with their pursuit of knowledge by attending technical college or universities will certainly be learning more in whatever field they enter.
• Save and invest your money. This holds true for almost every class crossing the stage at every high school in the country, but saving your money early allows a nice basis for retirement savings in the future. And spending a little of that saved money on things like cars and homes can provide safety and security into the future (depending on your choices).
• Remember the moments. As you sit in the Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field gathered as one Class of 2021, look around. Remember the feeling of accomplishment associated with graduation, and aspire to capture the same feeling in setting and accomplishing other personal and professional goals.
There also has to be time to stop and experience life. Remember what it feels like to experience a field of sunflowers, a cornfield, a muddy bike trail, parks, open spaces and even shopping malls. Put those in your life file and remember them for the rest of your lives.
• Travel. Almost everyone remembers the Dr. Seuss classic “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” and the lessons it teaches about the joy of experiencing different places.
Life has to be more than work, and traveling to other places to experience new foods, atmospheres, people and happenings should be on every graduate’s Bucket List.
And when all the traveling is done, come back to Sun Prairie for your Class of 2021 reunion and walk through what will be Sun Prairie East High School to remember the foundation where your life’s journey began.
Now that we’ve all seen the eye rolls from Sun Prairie High School’s Class of 2021, here’s one more piece of advice:
• Have fun. Take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously. Cheer for your favorite teams, but roll with it when they lose. Don’t be afraid to take some kidding from others who were not raised in the Land of Cheese. Have a sense of humor about life and what it is challenging you with, because we all need to learn to laugh at life.
Congratulations, Class of 2021. Now go out there and get after it!