Life After High School: Interview with Zach Rue

We continue my ongoing blog-to-book project: Life After High School: Secrets To A Successful Life By Those Who Have Had Twenty Years To Think About It (or) What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School with an interview featuring Zach Rue. If you missed the last post, click here, otherwise, you can start at the beginning here.


Zach Rue

Anacortes, WA

My Life In High School

Zach Rue AHS 1996

Who were you in High School and how did you feel about it?
I think I was a funny, smart, compassionate and determined individual who got bored with the school system.
What did you think your life would become when you graduated?
At that time I figured I would be a rich successful person… Come to find out being successful is what had happened and all that matters.

My Life After High School

Zach and Emily Rue
What happened in your life to you, for you, and by you in the last twenty years (how have you used your time and who have you become)?
Well to sum up my last twenty years… I kinda screwed around for 4 years. Then I met the love of my life got her pregnant and got married. Realized I needed to support this little family I started so I enrolled in community college and earned a degree in welding. In the midst of school, we had another child who was born with some medical needs. At 4 months old my youngest child underwent a very successful cranial surgery. Shortly after all of this I finished school and got a job at Dakota Creek Industries. I’ve worked my way up from being a bottom of the barrel welder to running 2 departments now. Presently still married with two wonderful kids and trying not to miss out on life as I usually work too many hours.

My Life Lessons

What were the major life lessons and wisdom that you gained during your journey over the last 20 years?
Set goals and follow through with those goals. Don’t get caught up in personal and political bullshit. Be honest and a hard worker and you can accomplish all your goals.
Zach Rue kids

Letter To My High School Self

If you could write your 18-year-old self (or however old you were when you graduated) a letter, and send it back in time, what would you say? What lessons, wisdom, encouragement, or warnings would you give yourself?
Don’t mess around. Go straight to school and set goals that you can achieve. Love yourself and everyone who you encounter on your journey and don’t be too judgmental.

In the next post, I am movin’ on up to chapter 8: The Apartment.

Are you from Generation X? I want to hear what you think! Please comment below and participate in the conversation about What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School. What do you wish someone told you when you were eighteen?

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