In the next month, thousands of area high school seniors will receive that coveted document that essentially says their childhood is over.
As they walk across stages, take possession of their diplomas during commencement ceremonies, and move the tassel from the right side to the left of their graduation caps, we hope they see it as a passport of sorts.
That piece of paper is their ticket to the next chapter of their lives. Whether it be heading to the local community college, a four-year university, an Ivy League school, the military or into the workforce, it’s their de facto admission to adulthood.
And if the success many have demonstrated during their high school days is any indication, they’re going to enter it with gusto.
This week the Kane County Chronicle profiled 11 outstanding high school seniors from the Tri-Cities and Kaneland. We’ve written about their endeavors in academics, athletics, school activities and community volunteer work.
These 11 students – and the thousands more like them that we wish we had the time and space to profile this week – represent the very best of our communities. They excel in what they do, whether it’s acing a musical solo, dreaming of the next technological wonder or compassionately caring for those in need.
We’re proud of their accomplishments, and hope you, as their neighbors, are too. We commend their parents and grandparents as well, for setting good examples and encouraging excellence in their children.
Graduates, no matter where the next chapter leads you, we hope you approach it with a sense of purpose and adventure.
Continue learning – and not just from books or lectures. Soak in as many experiences as you can. Put your smartphone down and have actual conversations. Explore places that long to be discovered.
Fall in love. Get your heart broken. Do something that scares you. Find a passion and inhibit it wholeheartedly. Make a point of listening to those who have a different viewpoint than you – and learn to respect them for it, even if you don’t agree with it.
You’re going to enter the workforce during uncertain economic times. The road will be bumpy, so be prepared to strap yourself down when the turbulence hits. Nonetheless, pursue a career you’re going to love. Realize you’re likely not getting your ideal job right out of college, but dream about that perfect job – and go for it.
And then, come back home and share what you’ve learned. Our communities need residents passionate about what they do and committed to improving the world around them. We need you.
Class of 2013, we congratulate you. Best wishes as you embark on the next part of the journey.