Class of 2015 blazes ahead

Congratulations, high school graduates.

As you go into the “real world” and into “life after high school,” remember that tests are more high stakes than the Smarter Balanced Assessments, but if you fail, keep trying.

Life gets better from here, honest, but the choice is yours — what will you do with it? Here’s some advice — the more you put into life, the more you get out of it.

The first 13 years of your education was paid for with tax dollars — you’re more than welcome! — totalling about $120,000. We think it’s worth it, do you? To paraphrase a 2015 Falls City graduate, the only way we can make the world better is to have an educated populace.

If you attended public school, taxpayers gave you a foundation, now the rest of your education is on you, whether you choose to get it on the job, by traveling, having a family, getting married or going to a university or community college.

Whatever your choice, keep learning. It’s a big world out there, and it’s yours for the taking if you work hard and keep at it. And know this: mistakes are just lessons. Learn from them.

In this day of selfies, Instagram and Twitter, unplug now and then. See the world with your own eyes, not someone else’s. Anyway, it’s hard to remember to smell the roses or watch the birds and be inspired to fly when you’re looking at your cellphone.

And be safe. As you go make mistakes — which you undoubtedly will (we all have) — try your hardest not to make a mistake that will cost a life, yours or someone else’s. That means don’t drink and drive or drive distracted (yes, that means texting while driving).

As the song “Everybody’s Free” goes, “wear sunscreen. Be kind to yourself, and don’t tolerate those who aren’t. Travel. Respect your elders. Stretch. Floss. Don’t expect anyone else to support you.”

Learn to dance in the rain. When you fall down, get back up and do it better.

We’re counting on you to do it better. That’s part of how this thing called life works. It’s going to be your world soon, and we are cheering for you to go out there and make waves.

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