The caps and gowns have been handed out, the announcements mailed, the diplomas printed. And now hundreds of high school seniors look forward to the moment tonight and Saturday when they will officially become high school graduates. Whether a student is finishing at the top of the class or barely squeaking by, the occasion is a momentous one for students and families throughout the community.
What is so significant about a high school diploma? It marks the completion of one phase of a young person's life and the beginning of young adulthood. It signifies an accomplishment that these students have looked forward to for the past 13 years. Whether a student heads for college, technical school, the military or the work force, a diploma is the figurative key to their future, the official recognition of their accomplishments and their right to move on to the next stage of life.
Our graduates will hear a lot of stirring speeches this weekend, encouraging and inspiring words designed to acknowledge their accomplishments and send them forth with confidence. It's a time of mixed emotions, for parents and students alike -- excitement at the anticipation of new experiences and newfound freedoms and some sadness for all that will be changed and left behind.
It's also a time that can be a bit bewildering. There are many big decisions to be made, and due to the economy, there is a lot of uncertainty about what the future may hold. Graduates should remember, however, that all of those who have gone before them have weathered the same storms, overcome the same obstacles and are here today to tell the tale. The same will be true for them.
What they should keep in mind, however, is that no one succeeds in whatever they choose to pursue by luck. The surest way to achieve your goals is, quite simply, to work, and work hard. Don't be afraid of hard work, for most of life's most important lessons are learned when things are tough.
Good luck graduates. We wish you well.
The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Citizen newspapers. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them.