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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

And now some advice for 2016 grads

Jess Shut Up


Relax. That’s right, I said it. Relax. You have had a strenuous senior year and you are thinking that this has been so hard. Note that I said “thinking.” I use that word because for most of you, you think the last four years were the most grueling, difficult and dramatic times that will ever be. But, unfortunately, they won’t be. Soon you will be thinking back, wishing life were as simple as it was in 2016. So relax, and while relaxing do this other “R” word: reflect.

Very soon, you will know the pressures of adult life, and that is where things start to get sticky. Those of you who start school right away and hit the college campuses will soon realize that Kelton and Daniels were easy on you compared to Professor “Real Life” and his endless notes and impossibly long papers. Those worker bees who will hit the job force head on will soon realize that good jobs are hard to come by and making those paychecks stretch over the entire bill stack (that you are now responsible for), leaves you no room for new shoes. And these are just the small things coming up.

I say relax and reflect because you must know for certain where you’re going. You don’t have to know what you’re going to do, but you had better know where you’re going. While relaxing and reflecting, come to an understanding with yourself. What do I enjoy doing and how do I make that work? Don’t understand yet? Let me explain more. If you love animals and get a sense of fulfillment working with them, then you have options. Long-term goals might include zoology, biology or veterinary careers, but the short-term might be volunteering at an animal rescue or veterinary clinic. But be happy in what you do.

One more thing to add to your “R” list: Relationships, and I am not talking about boyfriends and girlfriends. I am talking about your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, mentors, pastors and friends. Cultivate them. Learn from them. Right now, they have a mountain of experience both good and bad. Learn something from their stories, life tragedies and triumphs. Take some time this summer and sit down with them over a cup of coffee or a slice of pie and just talk. Tell them about your ambitions and listen to their advice. Calculate it all into your mind and listen with your heart. They might surprise you when you say you want to be an actor/actress. They may have had those same aspirations and might steer you away from the road blocks that trumped them. Or they may give you a dose of reality that sets your mind down a different path. Keep an open mind, and cherish the time you have with loved ones.

There is one more relationship that my failure to mention would do you a very big disservice — a relationship with our Savior. I struggled down that slippery path called life a long time before realizing that I can do nothing by myself. I am not saying that even if you are walking with Jesus that hard times won’t come to you; they will, but once you realize that there is a higher power, a Heavenly Father, walking that same path with you, things take on a different perspective. You can always rely on

Him. He is there during your worst sins and happiest moments. He does not want you to struggle in life one more second and wants you to partner with Him on this journey. Jesus will carry your burdens for you, but you have to let Him.

A good friend of mine just realized this recently. Steve had lived a long hard life and was ready to throw in the towel on many occasions, but Christ found him when he called out. Really, he had been there the whole time. Steve just had to grab the outstretched arm and trust. Faith is a big word that we take for granted a lot of the time, but with it we can conquer the biggest of challenges in our lives. Grab hold.

I know most of you will have to live your lives a while before grasping any of this. I just hope that you will not have to dig a very deep hole before you realize that a relationship with God is the most important life lesson any one of us can embrace.

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