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What will come next for our graduates?

The Millerton News Editorial

‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

The dreams that occupy our minds upon graduation, whether from elementary or high school, college or post graduate study, are often defined by the education and experience of the previous few years. We can envision what might come next in our lives as informed by what we have seen and understood about life before.

As each new experience overtakes us, renewed awareness should pull us into a new and exciting future, if education has done its job. For those who are graduating this year, a large part of their recent school lives included dealing with the pandemic and its far-reaching consequences. They were inevitably more isolated since 2020 than they had been before, and generations before them had been, whether they were in school or working remotely.

Even when they were together in the buildings, the students needed to be masked and distanced during the school day for a good portion of that time. Still, they were surely able to find new ways to learn about each other and academics, sports and after school programs like theater and musical performance, as evidenced by achievements reported in this newspaper in all those parts of their school lives at Webutuck, Pine Plains and Millbrook Central School Districts.

Besides the pandemic, once schools reopened more fully, there has also been the threat and reality of gun violence within the nation’s classrooms. For students and their families, this has made the end of the school year all the more difficult and fraught with anxiety, not only here in the Harlem Valley but across the country. As if there weren’t enough happening already to create anxious moments for American children of all ages.

But now stepping into their next life adventures will give students new sets of challenges, which will include those same triggers for life anxiety, but will also give a chance for real change. What will be needed is courage to face those changes and exert control over them whenever possible. We all need to take hope in action, such as  that which has made the pandemic less of a threat to the general population with vaccines available widely and to all age groups.

Here’s to a future with good change, for all this year’s graduates. Belief in beneficial transitions, based on both dreams and careful thought, can be the catalyst to make them happen.

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