Since we can remember, we have been told to go to school and get an education, keeping in mind the goal of walking across a stage, receiving our diploma and looking out toward an auditorium full of people congratulating us on our successes.
Our whole lives have been leading up to this day: graduation.
As we walk across that stage, it will mean something a little different to all of us.
For some, it will mean being the first in the family to graduate high school. For others it will mean finishing one chapter in their lives, as they open a new one and further their education at a post-secondary level.
For a select few, it will mean saying goodbye to many lifelong friends, as they leave to bravely serve our country in the next few months.
Although we are going our separate ways, the memories we have made together over the years will stay in our hearts forever.
For Southeast seniorGedeon Richemond, theword "family" describes it all. "This simple word is what defines the Class of 2013 at Southeast High School," Richemond said.
"Over four years, we've grown together from different backgrounds, social status and situations. But we have come together to form a family that cares for one another. We've helped each other during our darkest moments and together we will strive to achieve wonders in this society."
No matter which path each of us choose to take after we walk across that stage, it is clear that the young adults of the class of 2013 have what it takes to influence the world.
Senior Andrew Hoyle said it best: "We've been such a strong group, we've achieved so much, and I know that 10, 20 or 30 years down the road I will have relationships with influential leaders and revolutionary revisionists, because that is just what the 2013 Southeast High School graduating class is: a group
of individuals with so much potential.
"We have numerous young adults who could be the 'world's next,' and I'm proud to know each and every one of them."
Some students will continue their education out of state, thousands of miles from their home and loved ones.
Jordan Grabski will head to Moscow, Idaho, for college. "Preparing myself for graduation is not just preparing myself for a diploma," Grabski said. "It is preparing myself emotionally from all the memories I have made over the past four years. We're not just preparing ourselves for the finale of high school, but for the beginning of life. For some of us, it is attending a local community college, or attending a state university with friends,
"For a few of us, it is having to leave friends and family behind to attend universities far, far away. We're going to miss our friends and families, but if there is something we have picked up from Southeast High School, it is perseverance."
A week after graduating, Grabski will be moving 3,000 miles from home to attend the University of Idaho to further his education and play football.
Jeremy Ely, leaves for boot camp in the fall.
"The feeling is going to be bittersweet," Ely said. "Knowing that I'm leaving behind all the amazing friends I've come to know is disheartening. Yet the brotherhood I'm stepping into is one that less than 1 percent of the population of the United States is a part of, the U.S. Marines."
As of June 1, a significant portion of our lives comes to an end. It is a time to say goodbye to many people that we have built relationships with over the majority of our lives.
However, it is also a time of embracing new relationships, new experiences and new opportunities. It is our time to take the reins and shape tomorrow.
As Vocational Golden Herald category winner, Wyatt Fulghum said: "High school is the launch pad to the rest of your life."
Godspeed, Class of 2013, as you reach for the skies.