Go forth, prosper

Congratulations to the graduates in our midst, but don’t forget

This weekend marks a milestone in the lives of thousands of temporary Chicoans, who, after living here for four or five years—or more, for some—are ready to enter the so-called real world. That’s right. The year has flown by, and the undergraduate members of the class of 2015, about 3,000 strong, are about to don their robes, hats and tassels at the university’s annual commencement ceremonies.

Thankfully, this year’s graduates are headed into a job market that’s much recovered from the Great Recession. The future looks bright.

Most of those who earn bachelor’s degrees from Chico State will move out of the region, returning to their hometowns in the Bay Area or Southern California, or to the rural areas surrounding Butte County. We wish all of them the best of luck finding their paths beyond the comfy confines of this beautiful little college town.

Invariably, some graduates will feel the pull of Chico. It happens to the best of us. The city is an affordable place to settle down, start a family and transition into adult life. And after four-plus years here, it makes sense that the region has become “home.”

We want to encourage those who do come back to bring opportunity with them. Chico’s cup may runneth over when it comes to recreation and livability, but there is a dearth of professional jobs. Locals need decent-paying posts, and there are plenty of educated would-be employees to choose from.

So, graduates, after you’ve had your fill of Silicon Valley or the East Bay or L.A., consider the lifestyle you left behind in the North State. In other words, go forth and prosper. Just don’t forget the roots you planted here.