EDITORIAL: Summer of Freedom

Once, again, it’s graduation season, and we are honouring the Class of 2015 from Summerland Secondary

Once, again, it’s graduation season.

The focus now is on our newly minted graduates from Summerland Secondary, but students of all ages — ranging from elementary, middle and high schools to colleges and universities — are closing one chapter in their lives and starting out on a new adventure.

But especially for the graduating Summerland Secondary students, last week’s ceremony is likely the biggest milestone in their young lives, and the moments that got them to this point shouldn’t be discounted. Earning that Dogwood represents years of hard work and dedication to get to this point: the tests, the homework, the projects, the classes, the early start times and the occasional sleepless night.

For some, that next step means entering the workforce, hopefully in a field of their choice.

For others, it is another step along their educational journey; entering college or university. But for all, it’s a time of transition and opportunity.

This milestone is also a memory to treasure for their families. They will have seen their loved one complete the cycle — from kindergarten through junior high and then high school and finally finishing college.

Cameras snapped, parents applauded and valedictorians told students that today is the first day, not only of the rest of their lives, but of their “real” lives.

We congratulate them — and their families — on getting to this day, and wish them all well.

For high school grads, it also marks the start of a summer of celebration, freedom and joy, whether it’s at a dry grad, at an unsanctioned event, or just a group of friends getting together for one of the many  summer parties to come.

Just be sure to do so responsibly. Abusing drugs or alcohol, or worse, ending up a statistic on the RCMP blotter is no way commemorate those years of hard work.