Graduation gifts

Ahhhh. Graduation weekend is nearly upon us. Families have started to arrive in town, just in time for the long weekend and to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s graduating seniors.

Saturday, The Sheridan Press will publish its annual special section featuring photos of graduating seniors. This year, it also includes input from all of the valedictorians from the high schools around the county. It’s a witty bunch with some wry humor. 

They have plans. Some big. Some simple. Most whole-hearted. 

My own high school graduation is now a distant memory (14 years ago… eek!). I cannot remember what I wore, who spoke or if my family had a party. Even my college graduation has faded. I only remember skipping the big ceremony to attend a Cubs game.

So, as the big graduation day looms, rather than share my own wisdom, I thought I’d highlight some of the best quotes found online (that’s what millennials do, right?). These were compiled by Reader’s Digest.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

— Steve Jobs, 2005, Stanford University

“You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. You don’t have a job? Get one. Any job. Don’t sit at home waiting for the magical opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Go to work. Do something until you can do something else.”

— Shonda Rhimes, 2014, Dartmouth

“I moved to Chicago in the early 1990s and I studied improvisation there. I learned some rules that I try to apply still today. Listen, say yes, live in the moment, make sure you play with people who have your back, make big choices early and often. Don’t start a scene where two people are talking about jumping out of a plane. Start the scene having already jumped. If you are scared, look into your partner’s eyes. You will feel better… I cannot stress enough that the answer to a lot of your life’s questions is often in someone else’s face.”

— Amy Poehler, 2011, Harvard University

So as you head out to by another copy of “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” for the grad on your weekend party list, have a sense of humor about what’s to come.

We all know being an adult is tougher than most kids these days realize (yes, I am 31 years old and just used that phrase). Give them a heads up. Tell them what really awaits them in college and beyond. Then, share some laughs and barbecue.

Congratulations, Class of 2018!

By |May 24th, 2018|

About the Author:

Kristen Czaban has been with The Sheridan Press since June 2008 and has covered the entire gamut of beats including government, crime, business and the outdoors. Before heading west, she graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s in journalism. Email Kristen at:


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