Saturday is a bittersweet for many in Superiorland as it will mark winter commencement ceremonies at Northern Michigan University.
That's bittersweet for parents, because it's another sign of the passing of time and how grown up their sons and daughters really have become. That of course is tempered by the joy of celebrating the achievement of earning a college degree.
The day is bittersweet as well for the young women and men who will be walking across the podium Saturday morning. There is a sense of victory in knowing all the hours of hard work have paid off in a diploma.
But there is most likely a mix of melancholy in saying goodbye to the fun that can be a big part of the days spent as a university student.
At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, hundreds will be garbed in cap and gown in the Superior Dome, waiting for their name to be read as they walk across the stage and into their futures.
Cameras will flash, video will be shot and NMU will proudly award associate, bachelor's and master's degrees to another set of students transitioning into alumni.
We congratulate all those who have earned their diplomas as well as the parents and loved ones who have supported them along the way.
We thank the professors who have taught a myriad of courses these students have taken in working toward these achievements.
We wish all the best to the newest college graduates as they head into the "real" world. It's not always a perfect place, but we know with the same determination shown in earning a degree, the Class of 2013 will rise to the challenges that lie ahead.