It’s that time of year again. Our weather is changing, grass is greening, spring sports, and activities are in full swing, and for a few lucky boys and girls, their days of 12 years of schooling are drawling to a conclusion. Long gone are the days of recess. With it went the half day of school in kindergarten, checkmarks on the chalkboard, spelling test, the number 2 pencils, and the daily debate of eating the “hot lunch.”
These are the last few days to walk the halls where most of you grew up, learned how to count, spell, add, and subtract. Some of you learned the pain of rejection, the joy of a great academic, or athletic accomplishment, the taste of a “cold one” and who knows what else. These will be the last few days of your pre-adult years. Once you walk across that stage, all bets are off, and you begin your new life as an adult, complete with responsibilities, and consequences.
This is a great time to think back, and take a look at where you were just 12 years ago, releasing the hand of a parent dropping you off at school for the first time. As you struggle, trying to see through the tears, you make your way to the big double doors to enter the school for the first time. Still struggling, you try to understand why your were dropped off here, you look around at all the strange faces… Fast forward to now, and some of those same faces are still around. Some have moved away over summer breaks, others moved in, and now you’re all ready to be set free into the word with nothing but 12 solid years of schooling to rely on.
This is a time to celebrate, and remember all the good times with your friends. After this graduation event there will be people you will never see again. Some will move away, some will join the military, some will stick around. One thing is for sure, this is the last time you will all be together in one place.
Now some of you will be focused on entrance exams, while others focus on insurance premiums, finding a job, and balancing the family budget, it’s all a joy of being a part of the real world. You will also encounter a new group of friends, as you drift apart from old friends. Your new inner circle, will at some point, probably include your future significant other, future best friends, best men, brides maids, golfing/fishing, and/or shopping buddies.
This is the point in your life where you also need to evaluate your priorities. What’s important to you? College, a job, a family? As a young man, I was only interested in how much money I could make. However priorities change when you find someone you want to spend time with. Once you start a family it’s no longer “how much money can I make” but the balance between job, and family time. We could all make a lot of money, but at what expense? Time away from home, and the family?
Since you are a member of the real word now, you will face some setbacks, tough decisions, and exciting new events! Hold your head high, and remember good things happen to good people. As long as you keep doing your best good things will happen.
So as you walk the halls on your last few days of school, take a few extra minutes at the end of your day, and visit some of your old teachers. We all have people that have influenced our life, and it’s important they know we appreciate them.
As the sun sets on this phase in your life, be sure to enjoy your last summer with friends, and family, especially if you’re going away for college. Take time to sit back and soak it all in, and make it a summer to remember.
I’ve been out of school now for 10 years but a lot of the memories from 1st grade to senior, year seem like they still happened yesterday. I’ve finished college, had a few different jobs, and started a family. I still think back to my childhood experiences and enjoy a smile from time to time. However now with a child of my own, I will be reliving all of those events beside her as she grows up.
Congratulations, and good luck!