Graduation day has passed. Speeches were given, hands were shaken and accomplishments celebrated. No matter the age, graduation is a time of reflection, a time to look forward and back. At WMS, we celebrated the graduation of the sixth-graders. Tears flowed freely; smiles beamed broadly. The same children who couldn’t wait to be free and leave school, moving on to larger and potentially greener pastures were also sobbing inconsolably. At the same time I attended my niece’s high-school graduation. She loved her high-school experience, participating in every event she could from sports, to forensics, to band. She embraced the experience, and…she’s happy to be moving on. And, a cousin’s child graduated from a Montessori preschool in North Carolina, moving on to first grade next year in a different school. He’s ready to move on to new adventures, though he has no idea what that really means.
Graduation is bittersweet. The very things a graduating students can’t wait to escape are those they remember fondly. The teacher who was “mean” or “not cool” gets kinder and cooler once a student graduates. As you know if you’ve ever left a place or experience you’ve come to outgrow – whether a school, a job or a group of another kind – it’s nice to move on and sad at the same time. It’s another stage in one’s life, which is met with discomfort and excitement, much as the leaving is met with sadness and expectation.
This time of year is a nice time to say thank you to those experiences you are moving from and look eagerly to those that await you. It’s time to recognize your growth and await the lessons you will learn as you move on. Whatever your next steps are, this is a time of year to take a moment and consider where you’ve been and what lies ahead. Enjoy the journey.