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To the Class of 2020

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Dear 2020 high school graduates of Milledgeville/ Baldwin County,

Congratulations! Your graduation shows that you’re capable of sticking it out and parsing through the details, all 13 years worth of them. That takes discipline, focus and commitment. Celebrate your achievement, rake in the graduation cash and have a great summer.

After that, however, it’s time to get right back to work.

If you’re leaving town for college, that’s great. You can always come back home, but not everyone gets a chance to leave. If you’re sticking around town, please realize that you’re very fortunate to have so many options. Very few counties of this size have three different colleges.

Keep the momentum going. Don’t stop now. Enroll in one of these local colleges while you’re still young and relatively free of real-world responsibilities. Also, enroll in one of these colleges while your brain is still in “school shape.”

Not diminishing the significance of graduating high school, but in 2020 a high school diploma is barely worth the paper that it’s printed on. If you’re patting yourself on the back profusely right now because you graduated high school, this means that your expectations are too low. Without a career path and the proper college education, it’s much easier for people to jerk you around in life and not see your true value.

There will always be anecdotes. The guy who founded Wendy’s never graduated college. Bill Gates is a college dropout. Yeah, we know. We get it. Those are anecdotes. For every Wendy’s guy and Bill Gates, there are tens of millions of Americans who limped through life and could barely make ends meet. This doesn’t mean that many of these people didn’t live happy and fulfilled lives, but it does mean that their lives were a struggle and way harder than they could’ve been.

If you’re not sure of a career path, GMC’s general studies program is an absolutely wonderful place to start. If you’ve honed in on a more technical career path, Central Georgia Tech is an absolutely wonderful place to start.

Don’t stall. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate. Just do it!