(Opinion teaser)

The road ahead and the class of 2022

Congratulations, Class of 2022! You’ve reached an important milestone and conquered one of the biggest challenges your younger years can put you through plus two years of COVID-19.

What you face ahead of you is your call; you’ve well and truly entered adulthood. While facing life beyond secondary school is daunting and a lot of unknowns lurk in the shadows, it’s important to also realize how empowering this time of your life is. For what may be the first time for some of you, you’re in the driver’s seat. You are the adult now – you get to make the rules for your life and your future.

If you choose to enter university, good on you. I chose university because I wanted to get a more specialized education in journalism, which ultimately opened the door to The Observer to me. If you’re choosing trade school, great; there’s so much demand for those with skilled trades. If you choose to go to work straight out of secondary school, that’s excellent. If there’s some other adventure in store for you, enjoy every minute of it.

If you’re feeling adrift, please rest assured that there’s no one, right path. There’s no perfect way forward; your path into your future years may be a mix of all four of the possibilities above. Don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed for what you choose; you are your own self-governing body and you will figure out what works best for you.

In addition to problems that have plagued our world for decades, new challenges approach every day. But the fascinating thing is your generation is the smartest we’ve ever been, and if anyone is equipped to shape the world into something better, you’re the best people for the job.

I’m not saying that to add pressure. Just think about it – the culmination of human knowledge, for better or worse, can be accessed in the palm of your hand, and you have abundant opportunities as you grow to add to that knowledge. We can never learn less, only more. Your wisdom will surpass my generation’s and every generation before and you have what it takes to innovate and progress the world around you beyond what your ancestors ever could’ve dreamed.

To become a well-rounded person, not only should you always push to learn more and try new ideas but it’s equally important to draw upon the wisdom of those who have gone before you. While it’s true that you should never let anyone look down on you because of your youth, it’s important to know where we came from and how we got here so that not only may we avoid the mistakes of the past but celebrate our ancestral achievements.

While the road ahead won’t be without challenges, you can go forth knowing you have the support of each other, your families and your community to realize your dreams and create a better world.

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news@starjournal.net

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Graduation 2022