This week is a special time for many of our county’s young people. Seniors at Central Kitsap, Olympic and Bremerton high schools, Klahowya Secondary School and Crosspoint Academy will graduate. There will be formal graduations, dinners with family and friends and following the ceremonies, celebrating with fellow graduates.
High school is an important time in a young person’s life. The experiences each of them have in high school sets them on the course they will take for life.
Some will follow educational pursuits going to college. Others will seek artistic endeavors in photography and art schools, culinary school and the like. Still others will seek occupations by studying trades such as welding, plumbing, automobile technology or cosmotology.
Certainly some will decide to enter a branch of the U.S. military, learning a variety of skills while defending our nation from harm.
Equally important is what these young people have learned in high school about themselves. Through the guidance of their parents, teachers and administrators, or an adult mentor such as a coach or neighbor, they’ve learned that what they say and do matters. They’ve learned to believe in themselves, to be sensitive to others’ needs, to give back to their communities and to be good citizens by educating themselves throughout their lives, staying active and voting.
With the excitement of graduation day looming, these students probably aren’t thinking about these things. They have other things on their minds, like summer vacation and maybe falling in love for the first time.
Graduation time is a great time for all of us to reflect on where we were when we graduated from high school. What were our plans and dreams? Have we accomplished what we wanted to? If not, now is the time to recommit yourself to the idealistic person you were when you donned that cap and gown.
And for the seniors who cross that stage to get their diplomas this week, congratulations! You’ve completed a milestone. Go forward with all that the world has for you. Never let anyone tell you that you don’t matter. Never give up on yourself and never give up on your dreams.