Upper Peninsula high school seniors are preparing to leave high school as graduation for hundreds of students is right around the corner.
Since their first day of preschool or kindergarten, they have been preparing for this moment in time when they will step away from the high school classroom for the last time.
Graduation is more than just a celebration of years of learning and time spent striving to succeed. It's the biggest transitional period in life that these 17- and 18-year-olds have experienced to date.
Graduation is the culmination of everything each student as well as his or her family has been working for in the past 18 years. Graduation is the practical beginning of adulthood where "the real world" makes adults out of the kids who started school so many long years ago.
Some will head off to colleges in new towns to make new friends and to start new lives. Others will attend Northern Michigan University in Marquette or Michigan Tech University in Houghton because these institutions are close enough to home for comfort, but still far enough away to continue to grow into an adult.
Others will enter the work force and start contributing to society in some way or another. They see it as a job, a way to make a little money, but it's much more than that.
We'd like to take this chance to congratulate each and every Upper Peninsula senior who will be accepting a diploma on your accomplishment. Congratulations for all your hard work, for persevering through the tests, both academic and otherwise.
It was a job well done.