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Our Opinion: A message to the Class of 2018

Our Opinion: A message to the Class of 2018

May 17th, 2018 by News Tribune in Opinion

Congratulations to all the new graduates on your hard work and perseverance leading to this day. Now that you've graduated, we'd like to encourage you to take part in some risky behavior.

No, not like that. We admit it: That first sentence was somewhat of a cheap ploy to get you to break away from your phones and games of Fortnite for a couple minutes to read this.

Between graduation speeches, parents, relatives and friends, you have plenty of advice to listen to right now. Still, we'd like to add our two cents.

When we said to take part in risky behavior, we weren't kidding.

Everything you do in life is a risk. When you get out of bed in the morning, you're taking a risk, albeit a small one. When you get behind the wheel after drinking, you're taking a much bigger risk — one we hope you never take.

But between these small risks and big risks are those we call calculated risks. These are the kind of risks that we hope you do take in life.

In 2011, comedian Amy Poehler spoke to a group of graduates at Harvard University, telling them: "You never know what is around the corner unless you peek. Take your risks now. As you grow older, you become more fearful and less flexible. And I mean that literally. I hurt my knee on the treadmill this week and it wasn't even on."

Yes, the part about taking risks was the setup for a joke. But she was serious about the risks.

Taking calculated risks means not being afraid to make mistakes. You will make mistakes, and that's OK. It's even a good thing, because every time you make a mistake, you'll learn from it.

Fear can be a good self-preservation mechanism to prevent you from doing dumb things. But it can also cause you to overestimate risk.

Calculated risks are the kind that offer more opportunity to gain than risk to lose.

Step outside your comfort zone. If you're headed to college, consider studying abroad. Join campus organizations. Meet new people from different walks of life. Start your own business.

Trust your instincts and learn to take positive calculated risks in life. Over the long haul of life, you'll likely to be handsomely rewarded.