Saying 'Good-bye' to High School can be a very profound experience for students as they embark on their next journey, so I wanted to share with you all my thoughts on overcoming the sadness and celebrating the joy! Cue Vitamin C's Graduation (Friends Forever) circa 2000.
For myself, I was not too sad to leave my high school when the time came around, actually I was moreso happy to be moving onto bigger and better things, that doesn't mean that I wasn't emotional as I said my last good-byes to teachers, and fellow students. What was important for me as I began that transition was that I stayed in contact with those friends who I knew I wanted to keep in my life. Now, with the use of social media it is pretty easy to see what others are doing in their lives, but I mean deciding that you are truly going to stay in contact with people will help with your transition.
High school was not meant to last forever ... true story, but that doesn't mean that you can't cherish your times there walking the halls, gossiping with friends, playing sports on the fields, or chatting with your favorite teacher. It will all stay with you as you move on and as you adapt to your next phase in life: college,work, family life ... etc.
But, there will come a day, maybe not next week, or next month, or even next year, that your favorite high school memories will be replaced by your favorite college memories and it will be more important to stay in touch with the group of guys from your basic training group than from your high school soccer team. While it is hard to recognize that life is changing and these moments won't stay the same forever; greater and better things are coming to you, as long as you welcome them! If you stay stuck in your high school years, you will never grow and you will never expand your mind past 12th grade, even if you get a Doctorate!
My challenge to all of you High School Graduates is this: when you're standing up on that stage getting your diploma, shaking your principal's hand, and turning your tassel, think about your favorite memory from high school - a slow dance with your sweetheart, a game-winning hit in Softball, the last paragraph of your favorite speech from Debate Team - and then think about the one experience you want to have in college - saving someone's life as a student nurse, hanging out with your brothers at your fraternity house, or carrying a championship trophy on your shoulder. Both of these moments are connected and cannot happen without the other. High school is important to us because that is where we have been the most vulnerable, the most intelligent, the most excited, and the most feared in our entire life. Well my friends, you are 17-18 years old, life is just beginning and you have plenty more to learn, experience, and fear!
So, when you are up on stage this weekend thinking of your memories and goals for the future, don't forget that the best is yet to come ....
congratulations and enjoy the chase,