Graduation: The ceremony of conferring degrees or diplomas, as at a college or school. —

Most all of us have been to a graduation ceremony at some point, whether it was our own or a friend or family member. A long line of young hopefuls parading past in cap and gown is a familiar sight.

The occasion is happy. Usually the ceremony is followed by a party for the graduate to help provide some needed tools to launch them into their new life on steady footing; or maybe just a “hooray-I’m-free” party for the kids.

Every child, from at least middle school on, looks forward to graduation day. The day represents many things, like freedom and adulthood.

Unfortunately, though, when a high school student puts away his or her books, closes up their locker and throws their cap in the air, a whole new set of responsibilities come in to play. Things like work, college and family responsibilities come along with the diploma.

So what’s a kid to do?

The two most dreaded words to a teenager: Grow up.

There is a difference between growing up and reaching adulthood.

Being an adult means you’ve reached the age of consent where you’re legally allowed to make your own decisions.

Growing up means you have to shoulder serious responsibilities — a husband or wife, children, a job, a household.

Don’t be too eager to grow up. Enjoy your time of reasonably care-free living. Because once it’s over you can’t get it back.

Everyday life creeps up on you. Soon you can get into a routine of just going through the motions and one day you look at the calendar and five years have gone by.

Graduates, whether you go on to college, begin working, or just take a year off from school before continuing your education, try to keep the sparkle in your eyes. Use your head, but have fun.

And always remember the words of W.C. Fields, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.”

— Melissa Smith

Assistant Managing Editor

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