Graduation, internship, then college

Published 2:29 pm Saturday, June 16, 2012

Column: Colleen Thompson, Guest Column

I’ve heard it said that knowledge and wisdom are two separate things, and one without the other is unusable. I’ve also heard that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. I’ve heard other sayings too like, “In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.”

Colleen Thompson

But ones like that really aren’t worth repeating. I’ve been raised to know that nothing in life ever gets handed to you. You’ve got to earn it. And anything given to you that you haven’t earned, isn’t worth all that much.

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My high school calculus teacher, Kevin Gentz, gave me some of his own wise advice on my last day of class. He told me that some go out into the world and are called to be teachers, some are called to be doctors and some are called to be street sweepers. Whatever your place is in this world, do it to the best of your ability, and there you have found success.

Success. Knowledge. Wisdom. These words combined can send shivers down a recent graduate’s spine. Those three words mean that responsibility doesn’t rest in the laps of Mommy and Daddy anymore.

I just graduated from Albert Lea High School this month. As of June 11, I’ve been working at the Albert Lea Tribune as a summer intern. Life is moving at a pretty fast pace. Good thing I’m a track runner, and fast-paced is just my speed.

Taking a look at my life, one could never describe my life as anything but fast-paced. I’ve dabbled in most every sport under the sun: tap dance, ballet, lob ball, ice skating, basketball, gymnastics, soccer, tennis and track. During high school, the words “free time” were rare in my vocabulary. I was constantly busy with either tennis, boys’ basketball managing, tennis, choir, show choir, band, National Honor Society, Ahlahasa, Link Crew, Homework Helpers, my job at a lettuce greenhouse near Hollandale, youth group, or any combination of the above.

My mom and dad, Karina and Everett, must have known that the key to plugging your kid into the social pipeline was to stick them in as many activities as possible. Looks like it worked with me. We’re still waiting to see how my younger brother, Samuel, turns out.

I attended the Hollandale Christian School from kindergarten through eighth grade. That school taught me so much more than just spelling and mathematics. I can credit many of the teachers there with introducing me to Jesus. My Christian faith is now the most important thing in my life. My family and church family at the First Baptist Church of Clarks Grove have also played a huge role in helping me become the person I am today.

I head off to the University of Sioux Falls to study communications in September. It’s my hope to go into public relations and specialize in that after I receive my master’s degree. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to learn and get quality experience working for my hometown newspaper office.

I think this will help me when searching for post-college jobs and will make me more of an asset for future hiring employers. I worked on the Ahlahasa staff at my high school for a semester, and I think that provided a good foundation for me in the publications world. I’m looking forward to working with the experts in the news field and learning from them.

This does not mean I have my life all planned out, by any means! I barely know how to change a tire, let alone go out into the real world on my own. All I know is that I don’t know very much. Apparently that’s a good start, though.

Wherever my path in life takes me, I hope I can be wise enough to understand my journey and have the knowledge to embark on it.

Colleen Thompson is a summer intern at the Albert Lea Tribune.