With summer in full swing, most of us have finished our last high school exams and gathered one final time as a class to graduate.
During the ceremony, you sat there and listened to your principal drag on and on about how lucky they were to you be able to watch your class grow — or some cheesy line like that. Watching your classmates walk across that stage and move one step closer to the next part of their life — the part where you’re no longer classmates — has a tendency to fill even your most quiet classmate with emotions never felt before. Below are the five emotions (among many others) every graduate goes through during their graduation ceremony.
High distinction, valedictorian, honor students — whatever your school calls it there is usually always a special part of the graduation ceremony where students who have achieved outstanding academics are honored, either by giving a speech or receiving an award. If you happened to not be one of these students as soon as the names start being called you wonder, what if I would’ve tried a little harder in that geometry class? Could I have been up there? Or what if I would’ve retaken the ACT or SAT one more time? Would that have made the difference in getting into my dream school? If you listen really closely during the graduation ceremony, you can even hear the echoes of “what if” humming through the speakers.
As you look at all of your fellow classmates eagerly awaiting their diploma it’s hard to keep your mind from wandering back through the memories. The girl sitting two rows in front of you was your first friend when you moved here in elementary school and the boy three people down was your first boyfriend in sixth grade. Reminiscing about memories made with your classmates, among other people, is bound to bring up an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia that won’t leave with the completion of graduation.
This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for since we can remember. The moment glorified in “High School Musical” — wait, why is no one singing or dancing? You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the light is no longer looking like a nice tan and a good time, but rather like a bad sunburn.
What if you aren’t successful in college? What if you mess something up? Wait, we actually have to grow up now? Be adults? Yikes.
Through this exciting time, doubt about what the future holds seems to creep up almost as often as excitement for the future. As you realize your pass to the adult world is no longer years, months or even days away, but rather minutes away, the fear of what’s to come next sneaks up on you almost as fast as the lump in your throat as you watch your best friend walk across the stage.
Although it seems as if fear and regret fill every spot in your head as you sit with all of your classmates and everyone’s family members, all waiting for the same thing, it doesn’t take much for an overwhelming sense of excitement to replace all of your other emotions. This may be the end of your high school career, but it’s also the beginning to anything you want. That thought in itself can make even the most scared person excited.
Maybe one of the shortest lived emotions regarding graduation: relief. You’ve taken your last high school final, turned in your last homework assignment and cleaned out your locker for the last time. You no longer have to show up to school at a ridiculous time only to sit in seven different class periods listening to seven different teachers drone on and on as you half listen in, catching little bits of each lecture: “mitochondria is the power house of the cell.”
Now that we’re graduation, that is all over — at least for the next few months. So cherish this sense of relief for as long as you can because now we are freshmen all over again.
Lead Image Credit: Metro - Goldwyn - Mayer (MGM) and Marc Platt Productions