The Graduate

May 17, 2018

She was one of over a thousand who walked across the stage last week to receive her Bachelor of Arts Degree. The pride of seeing our granddaughter get her diploma was bursting from this old man’s chest.

This was the girl who was only learning to walk, what seems like last month. Then what seemed like last week she was a track star in high school and now walking across that stage to receive her diploma.
Where had all the time gone?
We have seen many graduations during that time. Her high school graduation and the one in which her sister was graduated from the same college. We have covered hundreds of graduations through the years and they always seem to be so emotional.
Watching parents and family members see their children all grown up, walk across that stage to receive their diplomas never gets less dramatic or less important. These young people have completed four years of college or four years of high school. This meant a lot of hard work and sticking to a goal.
As we watch we wonder where will all these graduates end up? Are there enough jobs out there for them? Will their degrees give them a jump start in the job market? Will they be employed in the field in which they studied, or a job which is totally different then they expected?
The words of the commencement address are inspirational. They are meant to be, because they will have to last a long time in the minds of students who will now go out into the world of hard knocks. There is no clear road to success. One only arrives at the end by making mistakes.
Hopefully those mistakes will not derail one’s life.
Once the graduation is over, the graduate is treated like a hero.
For us, it was as if she had climbed the ladder and she was at the very top. There were kisses and hugs from everyone. Pictures were taken with everyone.
It was as if everyone had graduated along side her. No matter that in some cases, the graduate might be the first one to ever graduate in his or her family.
One by one, all the graduates and all the families left the stadium and there was nothing but the janitors picking up the waste paper around the seats. There was silence where only moments ago there had been bedlum.
We stayed until the last, getting all the flavor of the event. We wanted to squeeze all the joy out of the memory of what we had just seen.
Our granddaughter and all the other graduates, all grown up now.
Ready to brave the all new world.

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