DP Buzz: Advice for graduates

Editors' Note: "DP Buzz" is an interactive feature of the Daily Press Opinion Page. We email weekly questions on issues and topics affecting Peninsula-area citizens. Each week, subscribers can choose whether to weigh in or not with a short answer. Here is a sampling; all responses are posted at dailypress.com/opinion. To receive DP Buzz questions, email rtroyer@dailypress.com with the subject "DP Buzz."

This week's DP Buzz question: If you could give this year's graduating high school seniors one piece of advice, what would it be?

No matter what your next move, keep learning.

Marie Whytsell


Nothing that happened in the last 12 years matters even a little bit.

Brian Talbert

Newport News

Have a dream. Set a goal. Pursue your dream. Follow your goal. It will lead you to your destination. Celebrate small successes. Embrace the bumps. They are your mentors. Work hard. Respect and learn from others. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Laugh at yourself. Smile at others. And congratulations!

Jo-Ann Mahony


Be different from the crowd. Set high standards for yourself and stick to those. You will be rewarded in many different ways..Go to college if at all possible. You will never regret doing that.

Annie McGrath


Be present in mind and body, fully engaged, and focused on the task, class, or relationship at hand. We live in a highly distracting world; those who can truly "be present" for all of college life will gain the most from every experience. My other advice: always attend class. Missing a college class is like missing two weeks in high school.

John E. Byers


Choose to happen to life rather than have life happened to you. Take pride in what you do, in what you achieve, in how you contribute to the community. Value more what you produce than what you consume.

Ben Cuker


Do what your heart and conscience call you to do, not what you think society expects of you. There are no rules about what constitutes a good life. Nor is there any one good life. Find out what's important to you. And pay attention to global warming and super viruses.

Scott Butler

Newport News

Follow the Golden Rule in everything you do---and study hard if you go on to college, our Shipyard Apprentice School, or a craft school to learn a trade.

Ed Prior


Establish relationships built to last. Forge healthy and reliable friendships you can trust. A friend is someone you well know and regard with affection and trust; avoid toxic relationships. Commitments may take three to five years, involving formative and normative stages, creating storms. Through open and honest communication, invite reform.

Steven M. Yedinak

Newport News

Take responsibility for yourself, now. Many will help you, but you must decide who you are and how you contribute to society. Internalize President Kennedy's words, "ask not what my country can do for me, ask what can I do for my country." Only you can reverse an opposing trend.

Joe Mann

James City County

As a recent high school graduate, time is your most valuable resource. Yet, it is a resource that can not be replenished. Time can be your greatest ally, or it can be a formidable opponent. Use it wisely. Persistence and determination are the keys to getting the most out of your time.

Aubrey Layne

Virginia Beach

Realize that you will get old and prepare early to provide for your own well being later by not putting all of your financial eggs in one basket; diversify. Don't depend on government programs to take care of you; they may no longer exist.

Ashton Haywood


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