Graduation: The receiving or conferring of an academic degree or diploma.
This is the definition you see when you type graduation into Google or look it up in a dictionary. Like many other things, the internet provides a shallow description that barely even scrapes the surface of what the word actually means. Graduation is more than just receiving a piece of paper. Graduation is a moving up ceremony, one of the first milestones of our lives. Graduation represents a time of celebration, and serves as a "congratulations" for all the hard work you have put in—it is the pretty bow that makes the gift that much more special.
This definition is not set in stone and varies for different people. It was even different for me at the beginning of 12th grade. At the end of my 11th grade year all I was thinking about was getting out of high school, and having more freedom to be on my own. I now know that it is more than that. This was hard to see throughout the year, but as the school year came to a close, I realized I felt nervous. I was about to leave my family of eight years, and I wasn’t ready. But, as soon as the Class of 2018 flipped our tassels, I knew I was ready.
Graduation was the final page in the first chapter of my life, and now with it behind me, I will move on to college. In the fall of 2018, I will attend Emory University in Atlanta. None of this would have been possible without the help of my family—both of my families—my mother, sisters, and grandmother, but also my LEAD Academy High School family. This is what we all really are, one big family. Even though I have graduated, I know that both my families will continue to support me through college and my career. I know I will definitely need support through my collegiate years as completing medical school will take time.
As a person who has been through the various stages of high school, I would like to tell the future graduates that moderation is key. It’s easy to get stuck in your ways or absorbed with what’s around you right now, but don’t let decisions you make now make it harder for your future. But, also in saying that, do not take for granted the opportunities that you have now, to make memories and gain experiences.
This blog is a part of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' month long celebration of #CharterGrads.