Graduates require community’s support

By Lynn Moncus: Comments from the Canyons

Graduation from high school is one of the major events in a young person’s life — a time to be remembered and cherished. We can but hope that today’s seniors will look back upon this experience as fondly as do many of us in the over-the-hill gang.

They can get some idea of our feelings by attending the various school reunions in Quay County. They will hear stories about favorite teachers, least favorite teachers, most popular students, least popular students, sports activities, mischief, and good deeds.

If they listen carefully, they will hear the love of those high school years in the voices of the storytellers. If they could look into the past, they might not hear quite as much of that love because it tends to grow as the years pass.

Of course, there were those of us who would have remained in high school for the rest of our lives because we enjoyed it so. There were also those who celebrated their separation from high school because they had not enjoyed it very much. Now, as both groups gather to visit during the reunions, the listeners can hardly separate the two because most people speak very fondly of those four years of their lives.

We can tell today’s seniors how important graduation is and what a privilege it is to receive a high school diploma, but many are not yet ready to listen. They are filled with dreams and plans about the future, thus having little time to listen to any elders pontificating about the meaning of graduation.

If we elders could but listen to the thoughts of many of these young people, we would detect a few notes of fear because they have no idea what lies ahead and are more than a little afraid to leave home and their familiar surroundings.

The thought of having to fend for themselves can be a chilling one, and the idea of being away from home on a fairly permanent basis causes tears to be shed in the privacy of their rooms.

Because they don’t want to admit they are feeling frightened, we need to do a little extra talking and a little extra listening. We need to let them know their lives will be good if they really want them to be and they will always have our support as they proceed with their future plans. We need to try to draw them out to see if they will admit they need help with their fears and then take the time to help them.

At this point, we need to let them know we are very proud of them for completing their first leg of education and that we have great confidence in their becoming fine citizens of our country. They have spent a number of years in reaching this point, and they have learned a bit about persistence. Now, they will have a chance to show what they have learned and how much they can accomplish because of those important, preparatory years.

Congratulations, seniors!