We are approaching that time of year when many young peopleâ€™s thoughts are turning towards graduation, and their entry into the â€œreal worldâ€ 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, itâ€™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 â€“ a few decades ago, it was commonly referring to as â€œgoing off to find yourself.â€
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 â€“ immodest quantities of alcohol, in fact â€“ as if that were some sort of proof of coming of age.
Grad parties â€“ â€œgrad drunks,â€ they were often called â€“ 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 accessibilityâ€¦ 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 involvedâ€¦ and theyâ€™re still illegal, irresponsible, and dangerous.
But in recent decades, most such illicit gatherings have been replaced with alcohol-free celebrations: â€œdry grads.â€ Itâ€™s a way for young men and women to â€œbust outâ€ at the end of their secondary school years without endangering their own or othersâ€™ lives.
Support your local schoolsâ€™ dry grads.