Graduation should be a time of celebration

Final graduating class from Oak Bay's old school buildings will hold their ceremonies Wednesday at UVic

This is a time of celebration for Oak Bay High’s final graduating class from the old school building.

Oak Bay High’s class of 2015 will hold their graduation ceremony Wednesday night at the University of Victoria.

And while the students have plenty to celebrate over the coming weeks, we can only hope the time  won’t be remembered for more unpleasant reasons.

Because let’s not kid ourselves: teenagers don’t always follow the rules.

And when it comes to adhering to the legal drinking age, most of them aren’t patiently waiting for their 19th birthday before having their first sip of alcohol.

Graduation season is a time that should be joyous and celebratory, but every year Grade 12 students die in communities around the province because partying got out of hand in one way or another.

These are preventable tragedies that nobody in the community wants to see happen.

Graduation marks a time of big change. The last 13 years of K-12 education is behind you, and you’re transitioning into the next phase of your life: adulthood.

Your teachers, school counsellors and parents have repeatedly told you that the choices you make now (Should I work or go to school after I graduate? What do I want to get a degree in?) will have an impact on the rest of your life. The same logic applies to grad night.

It’s only natural that graduating students will want to celebrate this rite of passage. It’s part of a parent’s job to remind them to be responsible. Encourage your children to be careful with celebrations and to go out with a plan.

That plan should include ensuring you are celebrating in a safe manner, in a safe location with people you know and trust. Most importantly, graduating students need to make sure they have a safe ride home – whether it’s a designated driver or waking up your parents at 3 a.m. asking to get picked up.

An important part of adulthood is making good decisions. Start now: be smart and be responsible before you head out for your after-grad festivities.

 

It’s all about getting home safe from a night of well-earned fun. If you don’t get home safe, it defeats the whole purpose of celebrating.