Embrace life! That's the best advice I can give to any 2007 high school graduate.
You've gone through 12 years of formal education but your time for learning isn't finished yet. For those who will go off to college and study an additional four, six or eight years, your education won't stop with that. Life is a constant learning process and if you embrace life, you'll keep that in mind.
The most intelligent person in the world realizes they are not the most intelligent person in the world, and there is more learning ahead.
If you realize this, you'll be one step ahead of everyone else.
Get ready to be called a kid again. I know you finally reached the top when you were seniors but that's just the start of things.
Year Zero is now starting for you. Once you turn 21 you'll think, "OK, finally people will stop calling me a kid."
Wrong. Once you hit 21 you enter another world, one where you can go to adult-only establishments. And guess what? You'll be a baby to three-fourths of the people around.
But don't let that bother you. Being younger than someone else is always a good thing.
I recommend to every grad from Sunnyside this year to try and travel. I'm not talking about going to New York or Chicago. I'm talking about real travel. Start while you're young and enjoy yourself.
Go spend a summer in Europe. Backpack around South East Asia. Take your car down through Mexico, into Central America and through to South America.
Nothing beats visiting a foreign land and nothing will make you a more rounded person faster.
If you can put away $75 a month you will save $900 in a year. With a careful search of a cheap airline ticket, you could easily spend almost two weeks in most places with that kind of dough.
Could you hang out in Hawaii for two weeks? No. But you could fly to Europe, hop a train to the Czech Republic and visit there. A flight to S.E. Asia would take most of the $900 but you would still have enough left to have a very enjoyable two weeks. You could live like a king in Cambodia and Laos. It would be the same in Indonesia as long as you didn't spend too much time in Malaysia.
For those not going right off to college, don't worry about it. I've said this for a long time. Most universities have been where they are for 100 years, and chances are they'll be there for 100 more. You can always go to school, whether you're 18, 25, 30 or 40.
Try to stay away from too much credit card debt. That's just me speaking from experience. Credit cards are nice and they can be a live saver sometimes but make sure you keep your balance low.
Again, just embrace life. You guys can do anything and the world is right here waiting for you. When things get rough and you fall down, just get back up, dust yourself off, and get back to it.
But above all else, have fun. Good luck.