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Best wishes to the class of 2008

By By Leada Gore, Editor
I don’t remember too much about my own high school graduation, a sign of both declining memory and increasing years. What I do remember, however, is a comment by my brother.
Not exactly the heartwarming, ready-to-take on the world graduation sentiments I was looking for. At the time, I found it hard to believe. These people, my fellow graduates, had been so important during the last four years. At times, their opinions had mattered more than anything else in the world. And now, suddenly, you’re telling me they will simply be gone? Poof?
He was right, of course. Except for a few people I’ve kept in touch with, the majority of my classmates slipped away. I suppose many of them will be at our 20th class reunion this summer, but never again will they hold the place in my life they once did.
I thought of these things this week as we prepared for Derek, Greg’s son, graduation. Along with so many other proud family members, we sat and watched him receive awards during senior night and then receive his diploma Tuesday night. The speakers all addressed the class of 2008 as a group.
And they are right. However, it’s a different type of beginning and one that can’t always be travelled in a group, even by the Class of 2008. So, to paraphrase my brother, you’re in this alone now, kid.
We’ve preached this a lot around our house recently. College, we’ve said, will be different than high school. Parents and teachers won’t be there to hold your hand, make sure you turn in your homework and make sure you’re awake and at class on time. From now on, it will be up to you to get yourself to class, pay attention and earn good grades. All of this will have to be done because you want it to, not because someone is making you. At the same time, you will also be responsible for eating somewhat properly (Ramen Noodles are not a food group), washing your clothes at least some times and, in a moment of weakness or just for shock value, making your bed.
You will have friends, of course, who are in the same boat as you. You will still have your family, of course, to help guide the rudder. However, it’s now up to you to make sure the wind stays in your sails.
So, class of 2008, especially that one special graduate who we’ve seen come so far, we know you can do it. And perhaps by learning to depend on yourself, you can learn the most important lesson of all.

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