Words to live by

A girl wears a decorated cap at the Medford High School and Medford Vocational Technical High School graduation.

High school seniors spend months anticipating graduation and just participating in a milestone event in their lives. As Malden High School class orator Felicia Lombardi put it: “I feel like I have been ready to graduate since August of 2013.”

The pomp and circumstances seem to pass in a flash and, in some ways, graduation day offers a reminder for people on the verge of adulthood to savor each and every moment.

Speakers at more than a dozen graduations held since late May in Lynn and surrounding communities took time to reflect and offer words of wisdom that are poignant for their ability to reflect youthful optimism and a refusal to look at the world as a dark and damaged place.

St. Mary’s High School salutatorian Katie Cadigan, waxing philosophical, reminded fellow seniors: “Time … has the power to rob you, and the power to give.”

In an equally eloquent reflection, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute senior Ashley Pimentel reminded classmates, “No one can tell us what lies ahead.” Her words are equal parts warning and message of defiance reminding the Class of 2017 that the time has come to fully take life into their own hands.

Lynn School Superintendent Dr. Catherine Latham reminded Fecteau-Leary graduates that “60 percent of job opportunities are tied to your high school diploma.” Latham knows that the students who use their diploma as a stepping stone to trade skills training or an advanced degree put themselves on a path to lifetime success.

Another veteran education leader, Peabody Interim Superintendent Herb Levine told Class of 2017 members to “be nice.”

“I know that sounds simple, but we need that in this world.”

Swampscott High class vice president Claire Powell urged classmates to greet the world with “determination and resilience.”

Malden Catholic Headmaster Thomas Doherty reminded graduating seniors “we are truly a family” with bonds to the school enduring long after graduation. Classical High School salutatorian Calvin Cheung referenced Mark Twain to remind his classmates that graduation might be the day they detect their life’s purpose.

Latham amplified that theme in remarks to English High School seniors when she urged them to go through life with an open mind to new ideas and a willingness to take chances.

Some of the thousands of Lynn area students who marked this spring by graduating from high school will leave their communities for distant places. Some will travel halfway around the world to serve their country. Some will start college careers. Some will stay in Lynn, Malden, Medford or Saugus.

We urge all of them, including Revere and Knowledge Is Power Program seniors who graduated last night and Marblehead seniors who will stride across the stage on Sunday to heed Medford High School faculty speaker Andrew Milne’s suggestion: “Get yourself to your own starting line.”

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