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Vail Valley Voices: A doc’s advice for graduates

Dr. Drew Werner
Vail, CO Colorado

Congratulations! It is a time for graduations, celebrations and getting ready to move on.

Whether that means working locally and beginning to be self-supportive, going off to college or proudly serving our nation in the military, each of you should be proud.

So, too, should be your parents, teachers and those who helped along the way to your success. They have guided, advised, prodded, coerced and, yes, even insisted that you make good decisions.



Graduation is a momentous occasion for the accomplishment you have earned as for the success it may bring. It is amazing to think that your future will be what you make of it. All you need to do is make the right decisions.

You have learned how to be a critical thinker and ask the right questions. Keep on asking them! Challenge yourself by always asking: “What will happen if I do this?” and equally important, “What will happen if I don’t do this?”



Healthy decisions are easy. Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Do not smoke or use drugs, and never drink alcohol and drive. Exercise regularly, wear your sunblock, eat a healthy diet, and never skip meals.

I know I am starting to sound boring, but it can be easy to overlook the simple things. There are a lot of choices you will make. You will have more credit for your successes and more responsibility should you fail.

How hard will you work after graduation? How will you balance work and play? Will you respect others and treat them as you wish to be treated? Will you choose and keep truly good friends?



I read an article about the actor Will Smith several years ago which I remember well.

My children were young, and his message still stands as an important reminder of the decisions we make. Mr. Smith was asked how he became successful and managed to stay out of the trouble that plagues so many in Hollywood.

His answer was simple: “My mother taught me that I will never be better than the worst of my friends, and I have always followed that philosophy.”

What philosophy will you follow? What beliefs will you hold? What challenges will you strive to overcome? The simple answer is anything you choose! I hope this is only the start of a future as bright as you wish it to be.

Drew Werner is a family doctor based in Eagle.


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