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Rocky View Publishing reporter shares what he learned years after school

By: Andrew Szekeres

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 05, 2014 06:00 am

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Sound the Green Day song, Time of your Life.

ďGet out your cameras.

Lock your liquor cabinets.

Itís graduation season.Ē

It doesnít seem that long ago I was walking the stage wearing my aviators and doing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will and Jazz handshake with my principal.

Then I look at the calendar and realize that was almost a decade ago. I graduated school at a time when Iraq was the de facto global conflict on everybodyís mind, Kanye Westís shutter shades were all the rage and people were watching King Leonidas kick Persians down a well in the first 300.

I remember being like many of the young adults graduating.

An overwhelming feeling of jubilation that at any moment you would go off like a firecracker, combined with a pinch of fear of what is to come.

When I collected my diploma, I knew I made it, I knew I was finally an adult and like most adults, I knew what life was all about.

Iím now in my mid-20s and I still eat cereal and watch cartoons. Life is certainly something I canít answer.

But that is the brimming confidence feeling you have once you cross the stage. Itís the exuberant feeling of achievement after 12 or more hard years of work.

The night after our diplomas, there was our celebratory dinner at the BMO Centre in Calgary, the same place St. Martin de Porres High School students celebrated their graduation this past weekend. It was our first real chance to dress like Ė what we thought - as adults in an adult environment.

Following the slides of the past year spliced with Vitamin Cís song, Graduation (friends forever), it was our time to party.

I donít quite recall much of the rest of the night, nor do I remember how I got to the Dayís Inn in South Calgary. I do remember it being a very random night of epic proportions.

I remember humming Iím so Hood while pouring myself a glass of Hypnotiq, thinking it was Kool-Aid.

Since that night, a lot has changed. Despite all the claims of being friends-for-life, I only talk to one of my friends from my grade in high school on a regular basis.

I dabbled in a little bit of everything before going into journalism. I was a busboy, a bartender, electronic salesman, jewelry salesman, landscaper, liquor store clerk and even a liquor promoter.

I went to school for acting, marketing and was even considering a career as a masseuse.

The point Iím trying to make is for the graduating class of 2014 to take a breather and relaxÖ after finals of course.

Donít sweat it that your friend knows she will be a lawyer and you still havenít applied to a school yet.

Maybe youíre just like me and you need some time to clear your head and figure out your own life path. Do a little of this and that to see what youíre good at.

That friend who will be a lawyer could change her mind as well.

In times like that, I think back to what one of my instructors and mentors, Terry Field told me in my first year of university.

ďDonít worry Andrew, itís not a race,Ē Field said to me in his office when I was nearing an end-of-the-semester nervous breakdown.

ďWhen you work hard, things will show for it. Donít doubt yourself and the things you can do.Ē

Be positive with yourself, work hard and be confident. Soon you will see your footing in the path.

Even if you feel like Goku running down an endless snake pathway in Dragon Ball Z, you will eventually find your niche.


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