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June 2008 - Advice for New Graduates

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John Kline, PhD, inspirational and motivational keynote and after-dinner speaker and corporate trainer.June 2008

Advice for New Graduates

Two of my grandsons graduated from High School in May; each is headed off to college in the fall. I wrote this poem from my dual perspective of grandfather and college professor and gave each a copy. I want to share it with you.

Starting Today: Advice to a Grandson

As you graduate from high school, you may think the struggle’s o’re;
But I must tell you this; ahead is so much more.
High school now is past—and you looked forward to its end;
But let me preview what’s ahead, just beyond the bend.

College should be for you, the best time of your life;
But it’s entirely up to you whether it is fun or strife.
Be ye not deceived, distractions may block the way;
And how you deal with them will determine if you stay.

If you fail to put the right things first, you will pay a price;
Professors will give you failing grades, even if they’re nice.
For that’s the way the real world is—no work, you get no pay;
So decide from the very start that you’ll do it the right way.

College is a testing ground for how you’ll do in life;
When you have the bills to pay—sick kids and a wife
So make good choices, study hard, have fun every day;
Stay out of treacherous ditches; stay on the good highway.

I wish I could help you more, but now it’s up to you;
What happens now to you in life depends on what YOU do.
Loved ones still will care for you, but starting now—TODAY;
It is up to you, grandson, to do it the right way.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

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