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A note to all local graduates

This week will see many area seniors receive their diplomas, completing what was for many approximately 12 years of education, aimed at priming them for the future.

More  than 800 students will graduate from our area and what comes next varies from student to student. Some might decide to continue their education and seek that through courses at community and state colleges and universities. Others will get a head start on their careers, with many taking on entry-level positions that will hopefully see them work their way up into a higher position as the years pass. Lastly, there are those that have decided, or will decide, to serve our country in the armed forces.

Whatever these students decide on, here are a few words of wisdom that should come in handy.

Never accept that things need to remain the same, simply because they always have. Blind submission to the status quo does no one any good.

Experience all that you can of what the world has to offer. We live on a planet with over 7 billion inhabitants spread across 7 continents. Why settle for what you are familiar with when there is so much more out there?

Find your own meaning of success. Many consider success as being financially stable. Others see it as having a rich personal life. While both are fine things to have, they are only the most superficial of definitions. Go out and decide for yourselves what success is.

Don’t sweat the little things. Many of us get caught up on the small, and sometimes unimportant, parts of life. Remember problems are only as big as you allow them to be.

Be your own person. Whether consciously or not, parents and teachers are actively trying to mold young minds to fit into their preconceived ideas. While not necessarily a bad thing, it is up to each person to define themselves and not leave that to another.

And lastly, the road ahead is not an easy one. There is no GPS on the road of life, so be careful when moving forward. While the journey may be bumpy, it is just as important as the destination.

Congratulations to all members of the Class of 2018, and good luck in your future endeavors.