A messsage to the graduates...

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 09:23

Graduation day for most of our area’s high school seniors is today. We would like to congratulate all of the seniors at Chugiak, Eagle River, Birchwood Christian and Eagle River Christian High Schools on your achievements, as well as any local seniors graduating for home-school programs or high schools elsewhere in Anchorage. Way to go!

Watching children grow into adults is one of the most rewarding things to witness, and we at the Star are extremely proud to have chronicled the accomplishments of many of this year’s graduates in our pages. Though the years, many of these amazing young people have proven themselves to be stars in their own right, and we – both as a paper and as a community – couldn’t be more proud.

Making it through four years of high school is a real accomplishment. But it also comes with a greater burden of responsibility. Now that you’re officially graduates, you’ll soon be entering the very different world of adult life.

Being an adult means making more choices on your own, and with the freedom to make these choices comes the increased burden of having to deal with the consequences of your decisions. This is what being an adult is all about.

Here’s hoping the decisions you make now that you’re out of high school are positive ones designed to help you grow into productive and happy adults.

One of the first decisions a graduate can make is to choose how he or she wishes to celebrate this occasion. For some, this will mean a choice to use drugs or alcohol at post-graduation parties. Although we can’t make this decision for you, we strongly urge you to think twice before risking your health and life in such a way.

Every year at this time, newspapers across the country are forced to run heartbreaking tales of recent high school graduates whose partying ended in tragedy. It’s not a story we want to tell this year in the Star.

Safe, sober activities for graduates abound. The largest, “Grad Blast,” begins at 10 p.m. tonight at the McDonald Center in Eagle River. The event includes fun, games, prizes and lots of food, giving graduates a place to hang out all night long.

Even if you don’t plan on attending the Grad Blast, please choose a safe way to enjoy your accomplishments. By all means celebrate the memories you’ve created over the years and rejoice in the satisfaction of a job well done – just do it safely and responsibly. You don’t need drugs or alcohol to enjoy your accomplishments; these achievements stand on their own.

Your entire future is in front of you – please make good decisions so it remains a bright one.

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