Langley Advance View: Dry grads better way to real world

We are approaching that time of year when many young people’s thoughts are turning towards graduation, and their entry into the “real world” after high school.

Plans are underway for continuing education into universities, technical schools, and trade schools. Some will choose apprenticeships or entry-level jobs with prospects for career enhancement.

Some will float for a bit. They may not have a clear idea yet of what they want to do with the rest of their lives, and in an increasingly rapidly changing world, it’s not hard to sympathize with their indecision. Many of these young people will opt for a transition period, with perhaps some travel or other form of intermission – a few decades ago, it was commonly referring to as “going off to find yourself.”

Whatever plans may or may not be formulating in those young minds as they approach the milestone, between then and now, most of them will celebrate.

Not many years ago, that celebration was almost certain to include consumption of alcohol – immodest quantities of alcohol, in fact – as if that were some sort of proof of coming of age.

Grad parties – “grad drunks,” they were often called – were held in a back corner of a woodsy park, or in an abandoned gravel pit, or at a lakeside retreat, or in any secluded location with limited accessibility… because the organizers and participants all knew that the gatherings were illegal, irresponsible, and downright dangerous.

Grad drunks are still organized, some with complicity of some of the parents of kids involved… and they’re still illegal, irresponsible, and dangerous.

But in recent decades, most such illicit gatherings have been replaced with alcohol-free celebrations: “dry grads.” It’s a way for young men and women to “bust out” at the end of their secondary school years without endangering their own or others’ lives.

Support your local schools’ dry grads.

– B.G.

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