Congratulations to the graduating class of 2017. Seniors from Warren County High School, some 440 strong, are set to walk across the stage and accept their diplomas Friday night at Nunley Stadium.
They follow seniors from Covenant Academy, Boyd Christian School and Van Buren County High School who have already become high school graduates.
Receiving a driver's license is typically one of the first major steps into adulthood. A job and a high school diploma are next.
For all the students who are preparing for life after high school, you have reached one of your first major milestones. From this point forward, you must begin the process of shaping your future and determining what to make of your life.
Some of you will head off to a four-year university. Others will stay at home and work. Technical schools and two-year degrees are gaining popularity, especially with free tuition anywhere in the state.
Regardless of your goals, and what you consider your ultimate destination, whether you plan a life in Warren County or beyond, cherish the accomplishment of a high school degree. Take pride in this achievement. You've earned it through years of math problems and reading assignments, by passing pop quizzes, spelling tests and mid-term exams.
The future, and many responsibilities, are ahead. There will be children to raise, mortgage payments to make, food to put on the table. Enjoy this moment and remember what it feels like to be on top.
Thus far, much of your life has been guided by your parents who have nurtured you, often held your hand through difficult decisions, and provided life's essentials such as food and shelter. Many of you will always be able to count on your parents and family for support.
At the same time, part of the passage into adulthood revolves around handing over the reins of your life to you. Sometimes you will fail. That's a fact of life no matter how old you are. But just as often, you will succeed. It's that fulfillment which will catapult you to continue working toward your goals.
Here at the Standard, our employees are caught up in the joys of graduation just like the rest of the community. We have friends and family members ready to walk the stage and graduate.
Class of 2017, we wish you the best.