The future is still right ahead of you, IR seniors

The 2012-2013 school year got off to a rough start for many local students. The first day of school was followed by a memorial service for a would-be senior girl who passed away a few days before school began, and many of them attended the service that evening.

It was a service filled with memories of a life that was cut short far too soon, and tears for a friend who would no longer be walking the hallways with them at Indian River High School. Yes, it was a difficult start for this year’s students, and that pain won’t go away for a very long time, if it ever does.

But, school does indeed go on for those students. The teachers at Indian River High School will continue to teach them, their parents will continue to be all over them about doing their homework and plans still need to be made for the future — including college or vocational choices.

Indian River has a fine tradition of both building a family-like atmosphere in the school and preparing students for the future. Those skills will be put to the test this year as teachers and administrators will be mentoring a young group of students suffering collective heartache. The staff has proven time and time again that they can get the job done. We feel like they will once again rise to the challenge before them.

Class of 2013, you have a tough road ahead of you. High school is difficult enough without having to start your senior year with pain and loss. That being said, life does not come with a “Pause” button to stop and take a breath when things are hard. At this point, it’s about perseverence. All of us in the community trust that you will persevere. That you will fight through the pain and continue to move forward. That you will succeed.

Now you have to trust in yourselves.

This is such an important time in your lives. Senior year of high school is about both celebrating the accomplishment of getting to where you are and building that bridge that will take you where you want to go in the future.

Enjoy your friends this year. Get to know your teachers a little better. Spend a Saturday night at home with the family a few more times before you go away to college or start that long path in a career.

Know that you have a school and community that is behind you, and willing to help you get to where you want to get. Learn from this tragic experience that life is indeed short and you have to seize whatever opportunities stand before you.

Apply for scholarship opportunities. Take advantage of any internships in your field you might see. If you find yourself hurting and in pain, talk to somebody. Anybody. Start with your parents and go from there. People want to help.

Class of 2013, this is your time to shine. We know it got off to a horrible start. How it ends is up to you.