Posted By RichC on June 9, 2012
With the inflated sense of self showered on many American kids throughout their schooling, with the intent of building up their self-esteem, it is interesting to read a bit from Wellesley High School’s commencement address offering a more realistic message. It might bring a few graduates, and parents, back to the reality that exists in 2012.
With 37,000 high schools churning out hundreds of thousands of valedictorians, salutatorians and high school class presidents every year … and few career options available for general high school diploma graduates (never mind those that dropped out), just how “special” are the average graduates. What kind of job opportunities are really before them?
… you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again. You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have. And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs. Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet …
A high school diploma is not what it used to be … that’s for sure. If you’re one of the graduates who is fortunate to land a job, you might expect to earn $31,283 compared to those with a college degree averaging $58,613. Of course not getting a high school degree is $21,023, but getting a job will be tough (census 2008 numbers … it could be lower today).