Life after graduation should be tailored for each individual

As a week of graduations finally comes to an end, I am left with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

Whether the graduation was from middle school, high school, or even college, the newly graduated students I observed were often told the same thing — keep going to school.

For middle-school aged students, this is quite evident as they have at least four years of high school ahead of them, but for high school and college graduates, I believe such pressures might be misplaced.

I am obviously one to promote higher education as I graduated from college a week ago and plan on eventually pursuing higher degrees, but that is what is right for me.

It bothers me that people seem to be pushing the idea of college degrees as the only way to be successful in life.

Granted it would help, but I know people who can work on motor vehicles or can weld who don’t have a traditional college degree that will undoubtedly make more money than I will with my college education.

It takes all kinds of people with various expertises to make our society function properly.

Some people choose to go to a traditional-type college, but others may choose a technical college or might decide to enter the work force.


Everyone needs to do what is right for them. Not everyone is cutout for the same experiences and educations.

A lot can be learned by some with hands-on experiences, while others need to highlight text books until they absorb all the information.

Obviously everyone wants what is best for their friends, family and children, but make sure it is truly what is best for that individual, who is undoubtedly as unique as they come.

To me, it is more important that people find a life path that makes them happy and allows them to utilize the skills they have and have learned throughout the course of whatever life education they have been involved in.

And to me, there is truly only one skill one needs to know and understand — hard work.

A person with a strong work ethic will be able to persevere through anything, and such a work ethic needs to be had both in school and at work. Successful people earn everything, and the truly hard-working make it look as though they didn’t even have to try.

Graduates, give everything you do your all. Don’t hold back or do things half way. Be honest and true to your own set of moral and ethical standards.

Admittedly, lying might get you somewhere for a short amount of time, but the apparent victory you will see through your dishonestly will be short lived. Truth and virtue are the only way to be work hard for true success.

Keeping all this in mind, don’t forget to play as hard as you work. Have fun. Get dirty. Do the things that make you happy and interest you, but do so with class, dignity and vigor.

The story of your life is being written right now. You are in control of how your legend is inked on the page. Take pride in it and ensure the pages are filled with anecdotes of admirable hard work and exceptional virtue.

Set your mind to what you want in life, and pursue it with the greatest work ethic and moral standards. If you do, you will find true happiness and feelings of self accomplishment.

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About toddvogts 843 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at