Congratulations to the graduates on their life journey

For young people who havenít experienced embarking on a career or starting a family, graduation is one of the first major life goals reached. Years of effort culminate in a walk across a stage to the applause of peers, family and friends.

The milestone may be the first chapter in an ongoing learning journey. That high school diploma can be a jumping-off point that leads to a college degree or a successful job training program.

Or it may be the final piece of a puzzle. Credentials in hand, a challenge of another type begins.

In either case, a graduation is a moment to celebrate. Reflect on the hard work and relish the achievement.

As various training programs, high schools and colleges/universities begin holding spring commencement ceremonies, we congratulate all those who have successfully completed their studies and look toward the future.

We encourage them to soak up the experience. These days donít come along often. Enjoy today because tomorrowís uncertainties will come along soon enough.

To offer one bit of advice from the gallery of experience: Consider a graduation as a beginning, not an end. Itís sort of like completing a ďHaloĒ mission. Done. Next?

Whatís on the horizon?

Use skills and knowledge gained from a high school career, college education or training program to take the next bigger, more important, perhaps more difficult step. Build toward the next goal.

Southeast Missouri State University will sponsor its spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 11. Area high schools will hold their graduations in coming days.

We join in these celebrations, and we look forward to these graduates taking their next steps.

We expect big things.