Class of ’14 faces better times, challenges

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Spring arrives – even after a winter as cold and bleak as the one we just passed through – and with new buds and flowers comes a new class of graduates, venturing to the next level of learning.

For some, that passage is a farewell to high school and the 13 years it took to grow from kindergarten sneakers to senior caps and gowns. Already, they have made important choices about college, community college, the military, a new job or a sabbatical for a little time in which to think about it all.

Others graduate this month from universities and colleges. They’re walking away from their alma maters with hopes of new jobs, careers, families and life’s big adventure.

For the first time in a long while, it feels as if those young graduates have real possibilities ahead of them. The economy is slowly gaining steam. Unemployment rates are finally starting to decline. Interest rates are still near record lows.

A young graduate has a real chance at landing a job in his or her chosen field of study. And once there, he or she can think about buying a house, long a tangible part of the American Dream.

That’s not to say there aren’t challenges ahead. Many of those graduates will take new jobs with a burden of student loan debt already upon them. Some probably will find themselves moving back home, at least temporarily, before an opportunity presents itself.

But even though economic conditions change and evolve, the nature of spring remains the same: New beginnings for creatures large and small.

Congratulations to the Classes of 2014.