Closing thoughts from a hopeful valediction
May 31, 2009
Graduating seniors, your first “life-on-your-own” bill is coming. It is time to meet the requirements and pay. For some of you, it comes in the form of tuition and room-and-board. Others, it shows up in hours searching for your own place and job.
It is time to say goodbye. Goodbye Middle Park, goodbye groups of long-time friends, goodbye financial ease, goodbye family and goodbye comfort, at least for the time being. Hello college, university, or just the fact that high school has met its end.
We all had our place, whether we had merged together during middle school or came from other far off schools to join the Middle Park class of ’09. You could have acted as the class clown or been the one to never see a B on your report card. You might have ditched once, or everyday. Maybe you thought you never belonged or felt the pressure to stay in the cool zone. You might have been the one looking in on both sides. Wherever you were, you helped compile our small but diverse class.
Now, we all are planning to branch out in some form or fashion and dispel across the county, state or country in search of a new job, a new city (or town) or a new lifestyle.
For you college-bound students, bare facts of financial debts can make you cringe. The grand, but average $12,000 to $20,000 debts you will have to face upon meeting your next graduation is a teasing concept compared to the realization that your free education has just flown by these past thirteen years. No more high school teachers will crack down on you because you did not do this or forgot to do that. If you do not care what happens, eventually no one will care for you, either. Yet hope exists with the proper use of time and money management.
The same goes for any of you that just feel college is not right, or right just yet. Regardless of the stress of studying and/or working, or whether you see college in your future, remember that learning is never over. Challenge yourself to discover, to chance and find a way to become an active and engaged citizen wherever you end up.
Hope that tough times come along so you can test your strength and your will. Hope that you grow though it all and find joy in the little things life can offer. Hope that we learn to live as fully as we all individually can.
We are nearly done 2009 Grads. Congratulations.