Lance Scranton: High hopes for you, Class of 2019!
Time flies by and high school seniors wind down their time as graduation approaches. I’ve never encountered a graduate of our high school who doesn’t want their life to be better in some way, shape, or fashion. Things haven’t gotten any easier for young people who are surrounded daily by the pressures of an increasingly skill-specific economy and pressure-driven expectations for how their lives should be lived.
Imagine being told that some of the jobs graduating students will be employed in aren’t even jobs yet. How would you like to be going through high school unsure about what you want to become and also knowing that what you might want to become hasn’t become anything yet because the thing you might become will become an eventuality after you have begun your career!
It’s little wonder that young people don’t always have a grasp on what it is they will do for the rest of their lives and feel like they are reaching for a raffle ticket or rolling the dice when they make decisions about their future. Teachers and educators constantly reiterate the importance of getting a well-rounded education and possessing skills that will allow flexibility and adaptation in a world that is constantly changing.
It used to be that someone who made a commitment to a certain job or line of work for a substantial amount of time was praised for their dedication and determination. But these days it’s all about adapting to the changes that are an inevitable part of our global economy. Students in our high school have adjusted to changing principals, athletic directors, teachers and a host of other adaptability challenges that seem to be the new normal.
But as things change — the more they stay the same as our fast-paced lifestyles usually take a toll on the things that make pursuing a career worthwhile. These are the reasons that it is so refreshing to read about graduating seniors who plan to go into the “helping” professions. Whose plans include the selfless tasks of doing their very best to make the world a better place for others to live. It’s a testament to our community and school system that young people still want to become doctors, and lawyers, and teachers, and physical therapists, and athletic trainers, and power line workers, and nurses, and the myriad of jobs that are essential to the well-being of a functioning society.
The graduating class of 2019 goes into the future with eyes wide open and hearts full of hope for what their lives can become. Seeing through their eyes for just a few days this week might be a good exercise for all of us. We would see the hope instead of the hostility, the promise instead of the predicaments, the determination instead of the destruction, and the sunrise instead of the sunset.
A political ad once famously stated, “It’s morning in America,” and the bright eyes of our future are getting set to make their dreams become a reality. Here’s to you graduates! Don’t listen to the naysayers, dive right in and make your future one that brightens up the skies, warms the heart, and gives those of us whose hope in our nation has faltered — a reason to smile.