This Sunday, one door will close and another will open wide for the hundreds of young people in the Tri-City area as they say farewell to their high school days and venture out into our ever-changing and increasingly challenging world.

What can we say to these graduates that hasn’t already been said at commencement exercises? ‘Bright futures,’ ‘unlimited possibilities,’ ‘follow your dreams,’ ‘believe in yourself.’ All of that and more has been and will be said to them dozens of times as the new grads head out the door and into a new, somewhat precarious world of choices and newfound freedom. The thing about clichés is they become such because they are generally true. Spoken time and again because of their universal certainty.

But there are other, often overlooked universal truths that endure, regardless of the economic, social or political climate.

Among them: Kindness is never wasted; compassion is heroic; and expressions of gratitude are powerful affirmations.

Confidence, strength and determination are not negative personality traits, nor is standing up for what one believes and taking pride in one’s work—regardless of what it is. Personal integrity is worth more than gold; and often the approach to a struggle is more important than the struggle itself.

Challenges are healthy and sometimes taking a risk is wise. The power to choose runs through all of life and accepting and believing in that power is both liberating and weighty.

There is no education like travel.

Freedom, as blissful as it is, brings with it the great weight of personal responsibility.

Grandparents are great resources—personal history is the key to self-knowledge and is nourishment for the soul. A legacy does not have to be cash or property, and everyone is capable of leaving one.

And perhaps the best advice for members of the Class of 2019? Carpe Diem… ‘Seize the Day!’