Congrats to region’s graduates

Editor’s note: The Mirror published this editorial on high school graduation a few years ago and, with slight modification concerning dates, we’ve been repeating it during graduation season.

Another year has quickly passed, and we’ve arrived at the beginning of high school graduation season.

It began in Blair County on May 19 with Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School’s ceremony to honor its senior class and continues through tonight as the two biggest high schools in our region, Altoona Area and Hollidaysburg Area, along with several others, hold their festivities.

Graduation is typically accompanied by mixed emotions for students and families throughout the region.

There will be tears of joy and sadness — joy of reaching a milestone and sadness that they and their classmates will go their separate ways after years of being together.

In many cases, that beginning will lead students out of the house and out of their parents’ daily care for the first time as the young adults pursue their next challenge.

Whether it’s next week or in a couple of months, that separation comes with trepidation for both students and their families — especially for students heading off to the military.

Graduation will also bring a sense of pride in the achievement of not only the various award winners — of valedictorians, salutorians or honor roll students — but of every student who is standing tall, wearing a cap and gown.

There will be nostalgia, of remembering the days when yellow school buses took today’s seniors off to first grade, of the innocence this year’s graduates once had, of yesterday’s need for guidance replaced by today’s independence.

In some cases, there will be relief, too, as the yearn to learn unfortunately doesn’t always start when students are in high school, creating bumps in the road that make just getting to this day a little more taxing.

We salute those students for their perseverance, too.

There is no set formula for a successful career path. Just because a student is No. 1 in the class doesn’t guarantee a doctoral degree. Nor is the student who found himself in detention more than a few times destined to failure.

There are positive and negative foundations that can be built upon and overcome.

With the almost-daily changes in information technology, life for today’s students is moving much faster than the days when their parents and grandparents were children, adding to the challenges and opportunities that await.

We congratulate the Class of 2017 and wish the graduates well in their future endeavors.