It is that time of year that many of us look to with a mixture of accomplishment and trepidation... high school graduation.
For students it’s the sense of accomplishment you feel when, at the culmination of 12 years of education, you hear your name called out and, in front of your peers and family, walk across the stage to receive your high school diploma. While you, the graduating student, may not recall your first day of kindergarten, I can assure you that your parents most certainly do.
They have been by your side this entire journey, from helping you memorize the planets of our solar system to suggesting that Google may be a better source for those Algebra questions.
Your mom or dad has probably packed over 2,000 bagged lunches for you over the years, each time giving a silent thanks when the school’s hot lunch day would occur. They’ve been there to pick you up when you’ve fallen, to mend your heart when it’s been broken, and to share with you their best advice which, let’s be honest, is usually ignored.
The trepidation comes from the age-old question every new graduate asks themselves — now what? The conclusion of your high school career brings an end to the sometimes comforting knowledge of predictability, you know when you need to be in chemistry or history, who will be teaching the course and who will be sitting beside you. That’s all gone now as you enter the anarchy of adulthood.
Some will be off to college or university taking those tentative next academic steps to a career. Others will decide that entering the workforce now is the way to go, earning some money and taking some time to determine next steps. Still others may decide that it’s time to see the world, to travel and leave behind our small towns and just explore.
I sincerely hope that you are able to look back at your education and see yourself still standing beside many of those same friends that began this journey with you so many years ago. I hope that the good memories outweigh the not as good memories. And most of all, I hope that you are proud, because the people in your life sure are.
Regardless of your post-graduation choice, it is but one of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of choices you will make over the coming years. Some will be easy, some will be downright impossible, but together they will continue to shape you as an individual.
As someone who has long believed in the importance of education I am proud to offer five Excellence in Writing Scholarships to students in my constituency including: Morris, Rosenort, Sanford, Niverville and St. Paul’s. To each of the recipients of these scholarships I say congratulations and to every student about to walk across that stage, I say good luck.