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Life, learning after high school

Is there life after high school? Some graduating seniors may wonder, judging by the sedate "old folks" they know -- which in their eyes likely includes everyone over age 35.

Truth be told, the thousands of youngsters departing Utah's public school system this spring are barely wet behind the ears and have plenty of living -- and learning -- ahead of them. Some of that will come through the inevitable school of hard knocks. But much is available through continued formal educational pursuits, be it at college or through technical training in a given field.In any instance, members of the Class of '99 would do well to keep on learning and growing. An active, alert mind is a tremendous asset in most any career and enables a person to make a meaningful contribution to society. Sound knowledge of people, places and worthwhile things enhances the quality of anyone's life, regardless of their professional pursuits.

Those who leave their open and inquisitive attitudes at the doors of their alma mater will miss out on much of life's richness and stimulation. Don't do it, graduates. Retain and cultivate a love of learning that encompasses good books and other wholesome literary and cultural pursuits. You and your associates will be better for it.

Anyone who believes life and growth ends at high school graduation ought to remember that the diploma is presented at commencement exercises. That piece of paper alone won't get you too far in the workplace these days. With a few exceptions, further training is essential to ensure economic viability and a comfortable, enjoyable lifestyle.

Stepping from the structured curricula and lifestyle of the public-education system through the door called graduation is very much a beginning. For most graduates, life has only just begun. They should enjoy the remainder of what should be -- in this morally challenged yet technically advantaged day and age -- a fascinating journey.