As you have no doubt noticed, this issue is heavily focused on graduation, with all of our area schools holding their ceremonies this past week.

However, I do not think it would be appropriate to not give them their well-deserved time in the spotlight. These kids worked so hard to get to this point, and with all that has happened, they are being deprived of these experiences that most all of us took for granted.

So I wanted to take this time to address the graduates of the Class of 2020.

I know it seems that everything is going wrong, and you cannot catch a break, however, it will get better. You have just taken one of the biggest steps in life, and there is plenty more to come.

You will encounter obstacles along the way, and you will feel much like you do today, that the world is out to get you, and keep you down. However, the only one who can do that is you. You hold the pen, and you are writing your own destiny, one sentence at a time. If you chose to go to college, make the most of it, because it is truly where you discover who you are and what you believe. If you do not, you are still discovering the same things, some people just learn differently than others, and that does not make you any less of a success.

Once you are old, and look back on your lives, you will see all the obstacles that you have overcame as lessons that you learned, and experience that you gained.

DO NOT be afraid to ask for help! There are people out there who want to see you succeed and are more than willing to help you do so. This is the most important knowledge I can impart to you. There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, it shows that you are committed to success because you are asking to learn how to improve instead of accepting the way it is.

I made this mistake, thinking I had to do everything alone, however, establishing a support system of family and close friends is the best move I ever made, and those relationships will follow you for life.

So, my message to you, graduates of the Class of 2020, is no matter what life throws at you, keep your head held high and push on. Because in the end, you will be glad you did.

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