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High School Graduates -- Continue Your Education

This year, three of my students have graduated from high school. One is my third son, Cael. I am very proud of all the graduates and have high hopes that they will all go on to great success in life. Last night at class, I said "Ganbatte" to two of the graduates. Not only do we wish them the best, we urge them to try their very best.

Most students graduate from high school at the age of 17 or 18. They are still very young. At that age, it is very important for students to try their very best to continue their education.

In my family, my wife and expect all of our children to go to college and we also urge them to obtain at least one graduate degree. Our eldest son graduated from college and went on to earn a law degree. Our second son will graduate from college in the fall and we have hopes that he will also pursue a graduate degree. He plans to start work on his CPA designation as soon as he graduates. Cael will enter college in the fall, and he is aware that we hope the he too will go on to graduate school.

Our children are very fortunate that we have saved for their college.

I would urge all high school graduates to pursue a college education or vocational training. Get your education while you are young and have the time to do so. It is much more difficult to pursue an education when you have children or have already settled down and have fixed monthly expenses (for a home, care, health insurance, etc.).

In five years, you will be five years older. Wouldn't it be nice to have a college degree or vocational skills at that time?

If you are looking for yourself, you are just as likely to find yourself in college as in any other activity. Four or five years from now, you still might be searching for yourself. Honestly, most of us continue to search for ourselves throughout our lives. I still am! Each day is one of seeking and discovery.

When my first son entered college, he told me that he wanted to pursue an art degree. I told him that I would want him to pursue a double major then -- art and business. The reason was that in order to be successful in art, he would also have to understand business. Otherwise, he would have to always work for other people. Art is a skill, but it is a skill that must be practiced in a business world.

As it turned out, my son studied business and during a business law course, decided that he really wanted to study law, which he did.

I was a premed student for two years in college. I did terrible! I switched to Political Science and did much better. I really enjoyed religion classes, and even psychology. My point is that you study other subjects than those in your major. College helps to broaden your knowledge. And it is possible that while studying a subject outside of your major, you might find your true calling -- a field you really like.

Even if your true calling is teaching Karate, I would think that there are good majors in college that would help you to be a better Karate teacher -- certainly a more well-rounded one.

Some high school gradutes students might think that college is a waste of time. That would be hard to know until you have been there. With all the possible courses of study, I am sure that there is something of value for every student.

I earned three college degrees and supported myself. I was fortunate to earn some scholarships and grants, but also had to work and take out educational loans. During my second year of business school and throughout law school, my wife worked. We both had to struggle, and it took many years to pay off my educational loans. But we did it. If we could do it again, we would. I think it made us appreciate things (and each other) more.

Karate teaches students self-discipline and enables them to work very hard at anything they set their mind to. Karate should enable students to succeed in college or vacational school -- to study harder, to do their very best.

My congratulations to all the high school graduates in my dojo, and in dojo all across the country! When I was writing a card to my son Cael, I wrote a line about how there will be many obstacles in life. I edited the line and changed the word obstacles to challenges.

Life is very challenging. It is very expensive to live today. The house my wife and I purchased in 1983 now costs about 4 times as much as it did -- the same house! The same house we bought in 1983 now costs 4 times as much and it is now 24 years older.

Health care is expensive. Housing is expensive. Everything is expensive.

But if students will get the best education possible, it will be much easier to cope with the challenges of life. We cannot plan for everything. There are natural disasters. People get sick. But somehow most people keep going. Life goes on. The human spirit is a very powerful thing.

Life is challenging. By rising to meet the challenges of life, we become better people and find our true selves.

Ganbatte to all the high school graduates!

Finally, please continue your Karate training during college. Most people who quit do not come back. Even if you have to miss class from time to time, do not quit. The next four or five years are also very important for your Karate training. There is a great deal of difference between the skill of a shodan and the skill of a nidan.

And Karate practice will help to keep your mind sharp and your body strong while you attend college.


Charles C. Goodin