It's that time of year when there's just kind of a buzz in the area.
Some attribute it to the wind in the trees. Others credit the birds serenading us from the sky. Still others simply call it the sound of summer as it nears.
Me, I think it's the engines revving about 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday as school lets out at the high school. Some call it senior fever. Regardless, it's time to celebrate.
Sure, there's plenty of excitement; kids who are getting ready to enjoy a summer of ball with their friends, trips to the aquatic center and Scharnberg Park, riding bikes and gulping down tasty treats; but the real buzz is being created by those seniors ready to bid farewell to their prep years and ready to take on the challenge of what life holds for them.
Parents and teachers have spent many years preparing you for this moment. Now it's time to sport the cap and gown, clutch the diploma, take your bow and step out into the next phase of your life. For many, it will include a new independence. College is quite a bit different than high school. It's up to you to provide your own motivation. They're not going to baby-sit you. When you don't turn in work, mom and dad aren't going to be called in for conference calls. It's all on you now.
There will be new temptations...well, probably some of the same temptations, but on a much larger scale with a lot of people you don't know. Be careful and mind your behavior. Remember, you still represent your parents and all they've put into you when you leave home.
It will be a lot of fun, but wasn't it Spiderman's uncle who said something like, "With great fun comes great responsibility." It was something like that. I'm paraphrasing. You get the point.
And while college life might be a lot of fun, don't extend the program any longer than necessary. It can become a very expensive party if you get some sort of Van Wilder complex.
For others, the post-high school road will lead into the workforce. Based on what I've seen in our classified pages, your services will be gladly appreciated.
The same cautions apply to you as well. Those freedoms and challenges are there, and without the threat of high school suspensions looming, the rules still apply and the consequences are greater as adult and juvenile charges share different levels of punishment.
While this might seem a bit depressing, it's not meant to be. The fact is, most people surrounding graduation-time celebrations speak about the positives. I am too. I'm positive if you don't approach this next stage of life with a little bit of caution and discipline, you may not find it as enjoyable and rewarding as a it can be. Consider these words of caution to aid you as you continue on in your life journey.
That said, we have an incredibly diverse group of Spencer graduates this year, with a variety of talents and skill sets, ready to make their mark on the world. It's always enjoyable to hear graduates return during the holidays and spring break, talking about their experiences at college. I often run into former SHS students who remain in the area, working or attending community colleges in the area, and who are finding new ways to become involved in Spencer's many opportunities.
What I wish for all of the area graduates is a prosperous and successful next few months as you establish yourself and begin this next stage. May God be with you on your walk, wherever it leads you, so you always realize you are never alone. And in those moments, when your conscience is talking to you as a choice is placed in your path, you will listen to the voice of clarity - God's voice - as it points you to the right path.