Grads will hopefully discover tassel worth hassle

Today, it seems most appropriate to pull out a spotlight and shine it on the many young people who are graduating from high school this month. Congratulations!

These were the cute little backpack-toting kids who started school in 2011. We can see them in our mind’s eye, trooping into school 12 years ago, excited for their first day as their moms and dads waved goodbye and wished them well as they started their educational journey.

What a wild journey. But who knew?

Remembering back to that time is tough because so much has changed and, in many ways, not for the better.

Think, for a moment, about all the events in the world, nation and state in the past 12 years that these students have been attending school.

Yet, despite all the untimely intrusions and the challenges they have faced, these young people found a way to thrive. They overcame their troubles and excelled in classrooms and clubs and athletic endeavors.

Often, we celebrate their successes on these pages; sharing the news that they are being honored as they receive awards and scholarships.

We tell a story on our front page today about a young woman who “kind of lived everywhere,” she told Record-Eagle reporter William T. Perkins.

Basically, she didn’t receive any structured schooling after kindergarten. She was living in Texas when she connected with her biological father in northern Michigan. Then she moved here in 2019 at the age of 17 where she enrolled in Traverse City High School. COVID-19 interrupted her education in 2020, but she persevered and, this weekend, she is graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She’s 21.

We marvel at these students being honored during ceremonies at schools across the region. They are remarkable young people who have loved to learn, who have flourished despite the pandemic and other daunting threats during their K-12 years.

It’s not necessary to catalog all the issues they have faced. Frankly, there are too many to name. Besides, for every individual reading these words, a particular memory will stand out and, no doubt, their memory will be different from that of their neighbor.

We are a nation divided by a shared past.

These graduates may choose to overcome those divisions someday.

We hope they do tackle the challenge — and we wish them great success in that endeavor.

— The Traverse City Record-Eagle


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