05/13/08 — Class of 2008: College degree is a first — and very important — step

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Class of 2008: College degree is a first — and very important — step

This weekend, more than 825 students got their diplomas at either Wayne Community College or Mount Olive College.

They celebrated their achievements with family and friends as well as classmates, and turned their tassels as they prepared to enter the real world.

And while there is still a lot more work to be done for most of them — either more education or the opportunity to begin or to advance a career — this was a first step and an important milestone in their development.

Having the discipline to head to college — or to return to college — is a sign of a person who has a real chance of achieving something significant in life. The success is measured at different levels, depending on the path chosen, but to decide to pursue a dream is a quality to admire and a sign of future accomplishment.

But just like getting the degree in the first place, the road will not be easy. To find a career and then to succeed in it requires dedication as well as a desire to keep learning.

And that is the most important message for this new crop of graduates to remember as they head out into the world — improving yourself is not a one-time event that ends with a graduation. If you want to be successful, you must continue to work to develop your mind and your skills throughout your career.

Members of the collegiate Class of 2008 should be proud of their success to date. They earned those diplomas. The rest of us will be eagerly waiting to see what they do with them.

Published in Editorials on May 13, 2008 10:59 AM