They have donned their graduation robes, adjusted their tassels and now they walk the last walk while Pomp and Circumstance plays in the background. They will walk their last walk as high school students and will never be high school students again.
For some, this will be the last day in their school forever. Most of the graduates will be itching to graduate, to move on to the next chapter in their lives. It won’t be until sometime later that they will realize the momentous significance of this day.
For parents, this day will be an occasion for enormous joy and pride and at least a little sadness. Many will remember their children in footed pajamas with a bowl of cheerios spilling on the floor as they walked quickly across the kitchen floor. The time between then and now will seem unmercifully too short. For some parents, the nest will now be empty and this day, more than any other day will signal to them that their child will soon be gone.
High school graduation will be the ceremony that announces that this leg of life’s journey is over. While high school graduation is an ending it is also signals the dawning of a new and exciting horizon. The specter of the unknown, the challenge of leaving the security of a school family and the security of the adults that raised the graduate is a major step towards maturity.
Some graduates will extend their academic pursuit by entering college, some will serve in the military and some will enter the work world right from high school. Whatever their choices might be, they have prepared themselves for what lies before them.
Graduation from high school is validation that they are ready to surmount whatever challenges are ahead. High school graduation is proof of character, tenacity, optimism and courage. Graduation is a time for summing up and taking an account of what has accomplished, what has not and what new direction will be embarked upon.
Several speeches will be delivered at graduation and they will speak to selflessness and idealism. “Find your passion, your strengths and plug them into the world around you.” “We all have a responsibility to make the world a better place than how we found it.” Perhaps a popular teacher, the school principal or superintendent will charge the graduates to go out and change the world. To carry their alma mater with them as they go.
Then the moment will come that will never come again, they will walk across the stage, receive their diploma and move their tassel to the other side, they have graduated. Cameras will flash, tears will be shed, and big hugs will be meted out to everyone present.
Graduates will line up to receive congratulations and to say their final good byes. They will be saying goodbye to teachers that have been their mentors, their instructors, their counselor, the speaker of stern words when needed and a thoughtful shoulder to lean on at times. They will be saying goodbye to their friends, friends that have been with them since Kindergarten in many instances. They will be saying goodbye to their entire school community rich with so many memories. They will also be saying goodbye to the familiar comfort of a secure school routine.
Today, the certainty offered by their school community will end. The partnership that was shared by their parents and their school on their behalf will also end. Though they are saying goodbye, many special memories will be indelibly etched in their hearts.
“Carpi Diem” graduates.
Remember, all kids count.
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