May 15, 2012

Graduating from High School

First of all, if you are graduating or have graduated from high school CONGRATULATIONS my loves!

I remember the day I graduated from high school like it happened an hour ago. I can't really describe how I felt, I was nervous, scared, tired, energetic, excited, and sad all at once. No one probably noticed but I even shed a tear or two when the class song was played. It was a Whitney Houston song that was more depressing than inspiring. I felt a tingle in my heart, one tear fell, then another. Even I couldn't believe I was crying. I hated high school for the most part! I looked around at the people in my section, pretty sure I wasn't the only one crying, but everyone else seemed unmoved. Damn hormones.

This was the beginning of the rest of my life (or so I was told) but also the end of a life I had known for over a decade. I wasn't fond of high school, I didn't have any real friends there but my classmates were my community. I knew of everyone even if we weren't friends we shared a common community, almost like distant relatives. I wasn't going to see those familiar faces anymore.

As I sat there in my assigned seat at graduation, perspiring from the warmth of a packed assembly center, I looked around and those people who had surrounded me for years wouldn't be there anymore. The thought of change made me nervous. Sure high school was a breeze, but what about college? I wasn't sure about my future and I just didn't want to close the book on my past.

After the gloomy graduation song, the principal made a speech that I only half paid attention to. Then the Valedictorian and Salutatorian made their speeches respectively. For some reason after I heard them speak, I felt better, I felt like it was ok to move on to a new chapter because life doesn't stop.

Then it was diploma time! I was in the second row, and watched as the first row proceeded to the stage. I kep thinking about every graduates worst nightmare...Falling on stage! As my row got up, I was nervous but ready. As I got closer to the stage, I kept thinkikng about the milestone I was about to cross. Not everyone is so blessed to receive a diploma. Just a century ago my ancestors were denied even basic education and here I was, receiving my diploma. Up until that moment school was a place I went to make good grades and to learn but it's more than that. It's your foundation, it's your guided pathway into the world. It prepares you mentally and socially, more than any other place could. It's a purgatory, so to speak. A place between (and during) childhood and adulthood. I realized that 2 minutes before receiving my diploma after 12 long years.

Finally, I was at the front of the line, when I heard the Assistant Principal call my name time stood still, I felt like I was in the middle of a bubble as I walked up to the principal, shook his hand, posed for a picture, and walked off stage. My relatives had been cheering for me but I couldn't hear a thing. It was surreal, up until I got back to my seat.

After I sat down I looked at the diploma holder and opened it, expecting to see my beautiful, shiny diploma! But it wasn't there!!! I looked around and realized no one else had theirs and word quickly spread that the actual diplomas would be given after the actual ceremony. I just missed the memo...What a relief.

After the ceremony I raced to the back where the actual diplomas were being given and after opening the envelope there it was! I was happier at this point and felt good about looking back on high school. No matter what obstacles I might face, I knew I'd have to tackle them head on. Life wasn't ending or just beginning, it was continuing. My future was bright, I just had to believe in me.

Graduation day was a mixture of emotions for me, but I wouldn't change it at all. If you are graduating from high school, please don't be afraid. Your life is not just beginning, it's only continuing and it can only get better from here on out. Believe in yourself at all times, and never feel discouraged. I believe in you! :)

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