Class of 2012: Time to move ahead confidently

Published 10:53 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

There’s an allergic reaction that happens this time of year for many teenagers and young adults. It’s called “senioritis.”

‘Tis the season for graduation, and as you students run out the doors of your high schools and colleges into the great beyond, it’s important to reflect on what you leave behind and what you should take with you.

Leave any regret. Just drop it right where you are when you pick up your diploma. Life after graduation is a fresh start. So, no worries about what test you could have done better on or what sport you wish you would have excelled at. Allow yourself to start from scratch.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Take with you a moral compass, a faith and foundation that will guide you through the years ahead. Knowing right from wrong – and having the conviction to choose the right path in every case – will craft the character that will define your life from this point forward.

Take with you a desire to learn, in all that you do. Right now, you revel in the feeling of closing the book – literally – on high school and classrooms. For at least 12 years, your teachers have been pushing and leading you to learn, with parents and family reinforcing that message. You’ve been held accountable by grades and report cards, exams and exemptions. Moving forward, whether you choose a college career or move directly into the workforce – you must find the motivation and desire to learn, grow and develop from within. And as any adult will quickly tell you, the ability to continue to learn and adapt is crucial to “growing up.” Don’t ever lose that curiosity and desire.

Take with you the memories of friendships forged during your formative years, of teachers who inspired and parents or pastors who encouraged and supported. Each has helped form you into the young men and women you are today. And, while you will craft your future, it will always have the imprint of those who helped you to this point.

Gone are the nurturing and fostering you find in education. Ahead are real-live challenges – navigating a tough career market, mastering new skills, learning to live and function on your own.

It’s an exhilarating, intimidating and thrilling moment. You stand at the cusp of a new chapter of your life. Enjoy this moment. Relish it. And move ahead confidently and fearlessly.

Congratulations Class of 2012.