Goshen News, Goshen, IN

June 9, 2013

Graduation is a time to reflect


— You’ve seen the pictures in The Goshen News. You might have been there when the photos were taken.

Maybe you were the parent or grandparent, scanning the cap-and-gowned crowd for the one person especially important to you. Perhaps you were a teacher or school administrator, once again bidding farewell and offering best wishes.

Or maybe you were a member of the Class of 2013, lifting a tassel and turning a page.

Were any of those people you? If so, congratulations.

High school graduation season is here, in the News readership area and nationwide. It’s a time of hugs, pictures snapped on cell phones (and by news photographers) and crowded, not-at-all-chilly gymnasiums.

Commencement is also a time to feel proud, and to reflect on the work that lead up to a milestone day.

Parents, pat yourselves on the back. That’s your child, suddenly so grown-up, making his or her way across the commencement stage. That’s the one you encouraged — sometimes sternly — to get the homework or class project done on time. Graduation day is about you, too.

Educators, take a bow. You’re the ones tasked with preparing a community treasure, our young people, for the challenges they will face in the days and years to come. And you do this day by day, year after year.

Graduates, ignore that talk about finally entering the so-called real world. You know it’s been plenty real all along.

Your world has been one of accomplishments and, in all likelihood, disappointments along the way. You’ve juggled academic demands with extracurriculars, family responsibilities, maybe a job. How did you do? That diploma in your hand is proof: You did it right.

What more to say to the Class of 2013? By this time, the graduates have had an earful of speeches. Yet another risks a collective groan or eye-roll. So The News will keep it brief.

Graduates, the world is yours. It’s not so much a gift as another challenge. That diploma indicates you’ve successfully dealt with at least one already.

Don’t stop now.