Graduates: Seek the light of success

With the end of the school year quickly closing in, many seniors will be transitioning into the next step of life’s journey.
The real world is a scary thought for most of them, and a chapter is coming to an end. Many do not know what to expect.
As college scholarships are signed and the next chapter of life opens, the opportunities that are placed in the palm of a graduate’s hands are limitless. The entire world is now at grasp, and the world can be a scary place.
For many, making their own decisions is something they are not accustomed to.
As I witnessed Escambia County High School senior Deondre Freeman sign a college football scholarship this week, I couldn’t help but wonder what the world has in store for the young man.
My mind traveled into his for a brief moment, and I thought about what he must be feeling. With the mark of a pen, his entire life changed. The world is now at his fingertips.
I thought about the moment of having to leave family behind and how hard that must be for someone who has only known the support of his family, friends and teachers but is now entering into a world with which he is not familiar. Sure, football is his love, and he is excited about pursing his dream, but a multitude of other factors come into play.
My mind then traveled to the moment when I packed my truck and headed for college for the first time. I had no clue what the world had in store for me or what challenges I was about to face. Little did I realize that I was walking into a world of opportunity.
Since that moment, I have been able to put on a professional hockey jersey, succeed in the history community and be a major part of films, documentaries and countless other projects.
The road eventually led me back home to Atmore, where I met my wife, and I am blessed to be a part of an awesome publication, working with a team of co-workers that are more like family. My only hope for any senior is to find something he or she loves and pursue it.
If you put in the work, you will be successful. Life is stressful and difficult at times.
As Deondre Freeman steps onto the campus and playing field of Northrop Grumman Apprentice School next season, he will face challenges. I am confident that he will succeed.
Life can be compared to a football game. There will always come a time when you make a horrible play that will cost you yardage, and sometimes a penalty will be drawn, but you can overcome it.
Hard work and determination will finish the game. Every yard will need to be earned with hard work, sweat and a few tears. Trust that it can be done.
As a graduate, see the light at the end of the tunnel and seek the light of God, and a torch will guide your way when you walk through tough times. In the end, you will succeed.