Our Say: Time of new challenges and responsibilities

THE Year 12 graduation season is upon us and there’ll be plenty of dry mouths and wet eyes throughout the city in the coming weeks.

Macquarie Anglican Grammar School held its formal on Friday night. The other Dubbo high schools will hold theirs after the HSC exams, which start in October.

Our bright young teens will be dressing up to mark the milestone of the end of 13 years in the primary and secondary education system and to look ahead to the stage that lies beyond.

It’s an exciting time for them - a time of greater challenge, but a time of greater responsibility as they make the transition to adulthood.

The excitement can be seen in their eyes: their life lies ahead of them, and it’s about to really begin. 

And their parents?

They’ll be watching on as their young person ceases to be a young person anymore and they’ll be wondering how all those years – the years of homework and packed lunches, soccer in the schoolyard and dress-up parades, last-minute assignments and clashes with teachers – flashed by so quickly.

There’ll be something different in their eyes: pride and nostalgia and sadness and nerves.

Some might be relieved the school years are finally over, but others will be wondering whether their young person is really ready to face the world that lies beyond. 

Those graduating from Year 12, who have been rushing excitedly, even impatiently towards the end of their exams, should know that time doesn’t always move so slowly.

After a while – and it won’t be perceptible at first, but you will gradually get an inkling of it – time starts to speed up.

The year that seemed endless when you were 17 or 18, dotted with highs and lows, historic firsts and moments of incredible drama, betrayal and triumph, won’t seem so long when you are 27. It will hardly feel like six months when you are 37.

And when you are 47? If you want to know how long a year takes then, check with your parents, who watched you go from a kindy student in polished shoes to an awkward teen in the blink of an eye.

That’s time.

The students graduating from Dubbo’s schools and colleges in the next months have an abundance of it – and there is no greater gift. 

We wish them, and their teary parents, all the very best.