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Graduation is time to enjoy day, look to future

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My Views by Thomas J. Barr, Publisher

 The day is quickly approaching. For over 900 young adults, graduation ceremonies will be held on Saturday at Broadbent Arena.

It is a time when these teenagers will suddenly realize that they are, indeed, young adults.

For the most part, life has been fairly simple.

While there are exceptions to every rule, most have had a normal routine.

All have attended school. Many have participated in extra-curricular activities. And many others have also had jobs.

Most have not had to rely upon their paychecks to pay for housing.

Most have felt pretty secure about their lives.

On May 25, 2013, that will change for many.

The challenges faced by today's youth are many. But, of course, many of those who graduated many years ago are also facing these same challenges.

The world is not a simple place.

There are new responsibilities that go along with the new challenges.

Will you continue your education?

Will you go the traditional route of a community or a four-year college?

Is there a technical field that will attract you to such a place of higher education?

Do you believe that serving in the military is your next step?

Or are you just ready to get out into the work force?

But maybe you just don't know what to do and find yourself in limbo?

These are all possibilities for the Class of 2013.

You are part of a changing culture, which is more challenging to the students, their parents and the educators who got you to this point.

Students left behind have a lot of work to do. 

Next year's class have a new challenge - to be career or college ready to earn a diploma. That's is a daunting task.

Graduating seniors will have to earn benchmark scores to show they are prepared for college.

Or they must pass tests to prove that they are able to master a particular career skill.

So, as they walk across the stage on Saturday, should we be worried about their future? Should they be worried?

On this special day, there should be no worry.

Our graduates are more prepared for the future than any group. And next year's group will be even more prepared.

Although common sense and work ethic might be lacking in a few of our young adults, they will make it.

The education system in Kentucky, and, more specifically, Bullitt County, is producing winning students.

They are bright and have no fear of the future. They have mastered computers and are ready for the challenges of the coming years.

They are confident and eager for the next step in their lives.

But that is not what Saturday is all about.

It is about having that final time together as a group.

It is about getting there at the proper time. Nervous yet ready.

Looking at each other and making sure the caps are straight and the tassels uncurled.

It is a time for parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends to find their seats. The best seats to get a good look at that favorite person crossing the stage.

It is a time to listen to the various speakers. It is time for the band to play the school alma mater.

It is time to watch as the caps are thrown into the air.

It is a time for all the hugs and well-wishes to be exchanged. The balloons congratulating the graduates to be handed out.

It is a time to search out that special friend one final time. 

It is time to see the smiles of the parents, grandparents, etc? as they have had as much time, energy and emotions invested in the graduation as the graduates.

It is a time for joy.

It is a time for the end of one stage and the beginning of another.

It is a time that you will not forget - even after 33 years.

The day on that stage in 1980 in Broadbent Arena is as plain today as it was then. 

"When the world is at its worst, you need to be your best." 

A pretty good quote then and it stands pretty firm today.

Congratulations to the graduates on your hard work and accomplishments.

And good luck in your future. It is a tough world out there but you have the tools available to be successful.

And a couple of words we were taught back in the day — Carpe diem (seize the day) and Erete (striving for perfection) - are pretty good advice for today.

As well as “i” before “e” except after “c”.

Congratulations to the Class of 2013.