Editorial — Celebrate safely this graduation season

June 4, 2015

By Staff

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You did it, grads!

You endured the tests, the homework, the projects, the classes, the early start times and the occasional sleepless night to get to this point — right here, right now, the finish line is in sight.

Liberty and Hazen high school seniors will receive their diplomas at separate ceremonies June 12. Hazen’s is at the Kent ShoWare Center, while Liberty’s is at Safeco Field.

Now is the time to reflect. When you stare in the mirror, dressed in full graduation regalia, what will you remember most?

Is it that teacher that got more out of you than anyone, including yourself, could imagine? Is it the coach that cared more about the athletes than the wins and losses? Is it your parents, the ones who supported you along the way?

Is it your classmates, you know, the ones you relied on just to get through a long day? Is it your friends, the ones that stood by you through the ups and downs?

Or could it be the school itself? Will you miss that new state-of-the-art facility that Liberty students call home (all the while trying to erase the memories of “portable city”)? Will you miss driving down Hoquiam Avenue every day and rushing into Hazen just before the start of class?

Whatever it is, high-school graduation is a big life milestone and the moments that got you here shouldn’t be discounted.

As you sit on the floor of the ShoWare Center, or in the stands at Safeco, stop and remember this day. Laugh as your class speaker says something totally crazy, cry when your valedictorian says something really poignant and beam with pride when you cross the stage to receive your diploma.

When it’s all over, you deserve to celebrate, and you will, whether it’s at the school-sponsored post-graduation outing, or the many summer parties to come.

Just be sure to do so responsibly. You don’t need drugs or alcohol to commemorate the past decade of schooling.

Traveling to or from a summer celebration? Keep your eyes on the road and don’t drink and drive. A AAA Washington study calls the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 deadliest days for teen drivers and their passengers.”

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, the study said. Impairment, speed and distraction are the major contributors to teen-driver involved traffic fatalities. Learn more at teendriving.AAA.com.

Start this next chapter of your life right by partying safely and responsibly.

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