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The end of one path; the beginning of another

This week marks a special time in the lives of many area students. The graduation season began in earnest Thursday and will continue in the coming days.

There is much to celebrate — the completion of high school is no small task. There were countless hours spent studying, completing homework, taking tests and surviving the pitfalls that accompany the teenage years. Congratulations is certainly in order.

Graduation will mark the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, one full of so much potential. Some will go on to community college, others to a university, some will head to the workforce and some will become soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines. Whatever that next step in their lives looks like, we wish them the best.

Transitioning to adulthood can be a difficult experience. In reality, some will handle it better than others. But all can benefit from a little advice.

• Your happiness in life will not be determined by how much money you make. Every fiber of your being will tell you otherwise, but money truly can’t buy happiness. It can, however, buy food, clothing and shelter, so work hard to be successful in whatever job you have.

• Your parents are not as stupid as you think.  Give it a few years, and you’ll see them in a different light. They were likely the only ones making sure you were fed and clothed. They are far from perfect, but they’re not idiots either.

• Be kind to those around you. The guy who sits next to you in the college classroom may sign your paycheck one day.

• Make family a priority. No one ever departed this earth wishing they had spent more time at the office. But most regret not spending more time with family.

• Trust God, even when those around you do not. It sounds simple but is profoundly difficult. Most of us have yet to master this.

• Don’t forget to have fun. Life can be overwhelming at best, but a little laughter can brighten the darkest of days.