Congratulations to the graduates of the county schools, approximately 587 including Croatan, East Carteret and West Carteret High Schools, 13 graduates of Gramercy Christian School in Newport and 19 graduates of Carteret Community College’s Adult High School.

Commencement exercises for the three high schools take place at 6:30 p.m. today at their respective schools.

Gramercy Christian School also holds graduation exercises tonight, and the graduates of CCC received their diplomas in May.

A special section in today’s paper, “Class of 2019,” lists most of the graduates with pictures.

We congratulate all the graduates on their accomplishment and hope they realize that while they’ve achieved an adult benchmark they’ve only just begun.

We welcome them to a society filled with apprehension and skepticism. We urge them to note that education is a constant, ongoing process that never stops. We earnestly advise them to question what they see, hear and read and offer the advice we’ve given previous graduates:

Carpe diem, Latin for “Seize the day.” The line is the last one in the odes of Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus 65-8 B.C.), a Roman poet and satirist. It came to our attention in the movie, “Dead Poet’s Society.” The sentence is Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero, or “Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow.”

The essence of what Horace said is one must strive to be an individual of consequence. You matter! Know that. And to matter in the real sense, make a difference.

Strive to make the world a better place. Make America a better place. Make North Carolina a better place. Make your home a better place. Make wherever or whatever your world is a better place.

Make a difference! Your state and nation will benefit as will your community, and your family. So will you.

Treat everyone nicely. Treat the less fortunate as you would like to be treated. Try to grasp their plight and help them. You will grow and be a better person.

Be aware of what is going on in the world. Learn what is going on in the nation, the state and community — wherever you live. Attend church. Worship and pray. Be involved.

Build on the education you received. Never stop learning. When you stop learning you stop growing.

Rely on knowledge and reason. Use everything around you. Question what you see, what you hear and read.

Be responsible. Be accountable. Don’t blame others for your problems. Don’t make others scapegoats for your disappointments, your problems or setbacks, which you will have.

When you encounter difficulty, deem it opportunity and know it will be temporary. It’s not important how many times you’re knocked down. What is important is how many times you get back up.

Don’t ever, ever stop trying. It matters that you learn from experience, from mistakes, and that you never stop trying.

Mistakes will never define you if you make amends, move on and apply what you’ve learned.

Only by trying will you accomplish anything.

If you fail, try again.

If you fail again, try again.

As the late Irish author Samuel Beckett said: “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again! Fail again. Fail better!”

Don’t fear failure. Learn from it.

Just never, ever, give up!

In never ever giving up, you never accept failure. Because you never accept failure, you never fail!

Carpe diem!

This editorial is traditionally published when the county’s high schools hold their graduation exercises.

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