The members of the Class of 2002 at Hayden and Lowell Whiteman have graduated. The three seniors at Christian Heritage will graduate today, and next weekend, their peers at Soroco and Steamboat Springs will join them.
Amid the parties celebrating the completion of 12 years of classes, teachers and tests, it may be hard for the seniors to see graduation as anything more than an ending.
Many of the graduating athletes who competed at area schools have played competitive sports for the last time.
Most have gone to their last proms. Some have taken their last classes.
But as much as graduation is a culmination, it also is a start the beginning of adulthood.
Most high school graduates don't know what life has in store for them.
They shouldn't. Many of us who are far older still haven't decided what we're going to be when we grow up.
But the graduating seniors should know this: From here, the impact of the choices they make is far greater, and the responsibilities they carry will only continue to increase.
With that in mind, we remind the graduates of these thoughts:
Cherish and remember your friends. There are few friendships that can compare to those we make in high school.
Maybe your parents can't tell you what to do anymore, but at least hear them out. Whatever choice you face, chances are your parents have been there before.
If you are going to college, enjoy the entire experience. But keep in mind that it's worth the effort to go to class and study even if no one is around to nag you into doing so.
Wherever you go, find a way to be involved in the community. Volunteer. Help children. Help the elderly. Do the things that others did for you.
Slow down every now and then. Your entire life is ahead of you. Make sure you enjoy it.
Finally, more than anything else, remember to come home once in a while. There are people here who miss you.
To all the graduates, we wish you the very best of luck.