Our View: The Resilience Of Youth

Monomoy Regional High School graduation. ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

The high school seniors who crossed the stage to receive their diplomas during ceremonies in Harwich and North Eastham last Saturday have a lot to be proud of. Graduating high school is in and of itself a feat; but doing so after spending half of your high school years adapting to the uncertainty engendered by a pandemic is an accomplishment that will give these young people a unique perspective and set of skills to employ as they head into the world.

The graduates enter a world that was radically changed during the past two years. So much seems to be in flux. Economic prospects are uncertain, despite a strong job market. Colleges are more competitive and expensive than ever. The nation is riven with discord and political divisiveness. Even the natural environment has an uncertain future.

And yet, these young people are ready. “Facing challenges is where you learn to thrive. It pushes you to your limit, and at that limit, people do amazing things,” Monomoy Regional High School valedictorian Nicole Peterson said. “Our lives will never be totally free from pain, but when the trials come, I encourage you all not to let them define you but to use them as catalysts for refinement and self-growth,” Cape Cod Tech valedictorian Etzer Lindor said.

These kids seem to have gotten the message to learn from the past but to look to the future. Nauset High School Class President Will Mulholland drew on the classic “The Little Prince.” “All grown ups were children first,” he said, “but few of them remember it.” Monomoy senior Ciara Ferris acknowledged the difficulties of the past few years and the trepidation of facing the future. “Though I, like many of us, am absolutely terrified of what comes next after we leave here today, I know that we have got this in the bag,” Farris said. “Whatever life throws at us, we’ll be ready for it because that’s just who we are. We’re not quitters,” she said.

We look forward to watching these resilient young people blossom into adulthood.