My younger sister just graduated high school – a huge milestone in her young life. At this point, she can do almost anything: work for the summer and then go to college or university; travel the world and teach English or work on an organic farm; volunteer in some far-flung place...
Graduation and convocation both felt bittersweet to me. I wasn’t one of the students who desperately wanted to escape high school or undergraduate life. Actually, I quite enjoyed the days when “student” was my full-time occupation, and the only obligations in my world were essay deadlines. If I ever win the lottery, the first thing I’ll do (post-vacation, of course) is go straight back to school – just for the pure joy of learning.
It’s really no surprise that many students confront convocation with a mix of excitement and trepidation. After all, on the horizon is a broader range of freedoms and possibilities, but these come with risks and unknowns, and a lot of hard work. And without the label of “student” to provide parameters to your identity, it’s now up to you and you alone to craft the person who you’ll be. And that’s an ongoing project for which your old study buddy, Wikipedia, is useless.
Is there a recent graduate in your family? Have him or her check out this fabulous new book:
10 ½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said by Charles Wheelan.