Words Of Encouragement, Advice To The Class Of ‘15

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Over the past several weeks in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties, high schools — both public and private — have graduated and are preparing to graduate hundreds of young men and women, spouting them into the world after more than 12 years of being insulated by teachers, classes and homework.

Absent from the halls once filled with the chatter of the future, the former seniors are now headed to find jobs, attend college and trade schools, and to explore the world.

Not only do we wish them the very best of luck as they navigate through the sometimes ambiguous waters of the future, we also challenge them to occasionally veer away from the chartered buoys along the way.

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Graduates, set your sails for success and happiness, even if that requires an uncomfortable change of course, or a hard turn of the wheel at the helm of your dreams.

Success doesn’t come easy or cheap. It takes hard work, long hours and determination — which you have and can withstand.

And don’t be afraid of changing your goals or aspirations, or even your career path. Change, though often uncomfortable, is one of life’s most popular games.

Chart your own way, using what your families, teachers and your faith have taught you.

Believe in yourself, because many believe in you.

No matter how hard you try, you’re going to make mistakes, both big ones and little ones. Own up to them, and move on.

Always follow the golden rule, and be honest with yourselves and others.

Do your best at your new jobs and in your new college classes.

And have lots of fun.

Our ultimate hope is for you to be highly successful in whatever career you choose: to become the absolute best truck drivers or the greatest scientists the world has ever seen.

But, we also hope that as you labor now, or find a job after college, that you’ll be able to return to the Heart of Virginia and use your newfound talents and skills and knowledge to make this an even better place to work, learn, live, worship and play for generations to come.

If you do leave the area for work and a career, we hope you’ll take your community pride with you and wear it as a symbol of individuality. Whether it’s the fight of the Knights of Buckingham, the determination of the Fuqua School Falcons, the Eagles’ pride of Prince Edward or the Dukes’ courage from Cumberland, use what you’ve learned here to accomplish your hopes and dreams.

Be proud of your roots here, and never forget them. We’re proud of you, and we wish you success in every aspect of life.