EDITORIAL: Congratulations to all the grads

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

From the end of May and through June, it’s graduation season.

Students of all ages, from elementary, middle and high schools to colleges and universities, are looking forward to closing a chapter in their lives and starting out on a new adventure.

For graduating high school students especially, this 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 will snap, parents will applaud and valedictorians will tell 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.

It is also a time of celebration, whether it’s at a dry grad, at an unsanctioned event, or just a group of friends getting together for a summer party.  Just be sure to do so responsibly. Making good transportation choices during the celebrations will mean a safe end to the evening. Abusing drugs or alcohol  is no way commemorate those years of hard work.