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Best wishes to the Class of 2017

By Staff | May 25, 2017

Lee County School District students marked the culmination of their high school careers this past weekend with graduation ceremonies.

Graduation is a milestone occasion and, as we do every year, we add our congratulations to the abundance of felicitations that rightfully should come their way.

As no doubt they heard from a plethora of commencement speakers, graduation marks not only a culmination, but a fresh beginning, ripe with possibilities, buoyed by dreams.

Graduation also marks an official end to childhood and a jumpstart into adulthood, ready or not.

Let us again share exactly what coming of age means: Whether a post-high school path leads to college, the military, technical school, or a job, graduation means you are not a kid anymore, popular cultural, party school propaganda and cinema fairy tales aside.

That means a few things that graduates may not have registered during the drone of graduation speeches.

One, the days of getting points for effort are now a thing of the past. As the saying goes, life does not award participation trophies.

Two, nobody owes you anything anymore, at least not for free. Not your parents. Not your professors or instructors. Not your drill sergeant. Not the assistant assistant manager at your first full-time, need-the-money-to-pay-the-bills job. While some may be lucky enough to have a safety net because mom and dad are willing to work a little harder a little longer, for the most part it comes down to you have to earn what you get. For those who learned this lifeskills lesson in high school, kudos to you, you’re way ahead of the game.

Three, life isn’t fair. Really, really. While most grads have no doubt heard this one before, the political fairy godmothers who promised “income re-distribution” and “sustainable wages” for fast food and retail jobs 1) probably lost their election bid and 2) aren’t the ones signing payroll checks. At least not yet. Whether it’s this summer or four or five years down the road following the next graduation ceremony, you’re likely to be working very hard for relatively little.

At least in the beginning.

But the best news of all?

Despite the challenges, despite life’s sometimes harsh realities, the road ahead is yours to map, yours to travel in the manner and direction you choose to follow.

Our very best wishes to the Class of 2017. Chase your dreams and wrest them to your will. The future is truly yours.

– Island Reporter editorial