I've been thinking about graduation a lot recently, and so I decided to write this and try to work on my writing a little bit in the process. I didn't really get anywhere but it was still fun to write.
And so begins the best day in the world for some, the worst for others.
When the names of these people are called and they walk across the aisle and receive a slip of paper that they have worked for 18 years to achieve, some of them aren’t going to know what to do. Some will smile, accept the paper, give a bold handshake, and walk off the stage. Others will break down, dot the paper with their tears, and try to calmly walk off stage. But no matter how many tears and how many noble heads, one thing is sure; this is both a happy and a sad day.
It is the end of a chapter of life and the start of a new one. A new, scary one in an unfamiliar place with mostly unfamiliar people. There’s more change to come; more trouble to get into; more people to love; this is horrifying because for all these years, we thought the world was just the town we grew up in.
It’s only until now that we begin to expand our horizons and broaden our definition of this place we call home. I can only hope that they will keep an open mind, for if they don’t, then they’ll never mature past these first 18 years and they’ll be left behind in the dust by the rest of society. But for those that do keep an open mind, they are less prepared than they want to believe for a brand-new world full of opportunities; change beyond anything they could have ever imagined; nights that they will truly remember until they die; and they will meet the people that they’ll form true lifelong bonds with.
These twelve years of hell really aren’t even the beginning—they’re a vague foundation.
I hope that they opened their eyes and lived these four years to their fullest and remembered everything they could, because these are going to be the foundation for the decades to come. Everything that just happened will seem like a dream, or a quick second that flashed by in your life; in a way, it was. And for those that stayed inside the entire time and never took the time to meet people and make friends are going to be the most horrified by the years to come.
I hope they make it.
And I hope that while these adults are walking across the stage, accepting their papers and giving their handshakes, in that brief second where their hand touches the fibres of the paper, they see these four years flashed before their eyes. I hope they remember everything that happened; everyone they loved; all those nights where they were truly themselves. I hope that while they see these, they think of all the people they shared those experiences with, and the people that allowed the experiences to happen.
I hope they remember all the times they had that made them who they were, and remembered all the bad because that’s really who makes us who we are. I hope they don’t dwell on this split second of thought and wish that those nights never ended, because then they’ll never see the world as it really is. I hope that during this split second, they remember everything and are prepared to put it behind them and start anew in a new part of their lives, because that’s what’s really going to allow them to succeed.
I hope they think of all the people in the audience that are crying tears of both joy and sadness. I hope they don't forget the friends that helped them on their paths to themselves.
When they look in the eyes of the principal of these four years, I can only hope that their eyes show maturity and intelligence, rather than sadness and immaturity.