Graduation is not where it stops, it’s where it begins......
Iattended a graduation ceremony over the past month and I knew of some others happening around the area too. The students were all so pumped about it. After all, it was their big day! I stood from a distance as I observed and listened and it dawned on me, they don’t know! They are so wrapped up in the gowns and the hats are sitting so nicely on their hands that they have not realized. When will it kick in? I kept asking myself! When will they realize that this is it! This is the moment where I have to take over the race! There is no coming back to high school on Monday morning. There are no take backs on my mistakes.
Many of our young men and women have not realized that high school is a fundamental part of the future. Every college and university will want to know: Did you graduate? What were your grades like? So as I watched the students from such school, I wondered how many were ready to face rejection; how many did not take school seriously and would now have to face the inevitable, the uncontrolled: “Sorry we cannot accept you at this time. You do not meet the requirements.” Are they mentally prepared for this?! Are they emotionally ready to face the “you need this grade and that grade to work with our company!”? How many are ready to face unemployment? How many will fall to the tragedies of unemployment? Pregnancy? Drugs? How many will walk out of this room and come back to deliver a speech on success? Success not necessarily being a business owner or a millionaire but one who thrived at the other levels life presented.
My thoughts could not control themselves as I watched some of the smiles in the crowd. Oh, how happy they looked. The girls were all dolled up and the boys had such precise haircuts. They celebrated the “Big Day”. Big day, where you realize that when the hats are raised to the air that this will be the last time you are considered just a child? Big day when you were made aware that so many of you will not be able to find proper jobs or any job for that matter? Big day where you came to your senses about taking school seriously but then realized that oh no, I didn’t do that? Big day where you were ready because you had your dreams set and had everything in place and the monies in your back pocket to take flight? I couldn’t help but wonder how many students knew what graduation from high school meant. I couldn’t help but wonder how many smiles would soon sag and not because the world is mean but because they could have done better to prepare themselves. How many will now have a tale to tell about not taking their teachers seriously?
I do not judge when I say not many are born with a gold spoon in their mouth. I too was born without a spoon! So what preparation did we make for them for their big day? Did we coach them along the way? Did we tell them that at your high school graduation, when it’s all said and done and we sing the school anthem, you must face the world? Did we tell them just how cruel the world is? Did we tell them to appreciate what you have now and honour your parents because you will quickly understand what mummy had to go through to get you to school? Did daddy tell the boys that girls would not want to be with a broke, unemployed man? But most importantly, did they listen? Did they take Mr. Ranjam seriously when he pleaded for them to save? When he begged for them to do the work and understand what was being taught? Are our parents ready to have a young man or young woman home all day and without ambition? Did you notice just as yet that this was what you created when you facilitated his/her rudeness? Are they ready? I kept looking at the faces and I could almost see the handful that will make it out in one piece. Not because their mummies and daddies are rich but because they pushed! And then I listened to the names being hailed with honour! I saw the sad looks on some faces as they were never called. The restlessness soon kicked in as they had to sit through the many speeches. How much more restlessness and sleeplessness are they prepared to handle?
So why then do they call it the “Big Day”? A day where life will hit you within twenty four hours! It is only a good big day if you prepared yourself for it. Graduation is not all about the awards and the glam. It is supposed to be a celebration for your “success” and to bid farewell and good luck to the next part. If graduation was destined only for students who were truly ready for the next level, how many graduates do you think we would have?
School is meant to be fun and yes there are days where we are all a bit more troublesome than others. However, as with any other thing, this too comes to an end. So as you play, as you fuss, remember that YOU will determine how this story ends. Mr. Ranjam will continue to be a teacher or whatsoever he wants. Your principal did not get this position because he was defiant. Mrs. Sam’s life is set. She did not buy this job. I hope you were told all of this because now that you’re reading my article, it is probably too late for you to go back and fix the damage. I say: if you fall in the category that did not push, use the time to do something. Save some money and redo your exams. Get into technical trade. You still have some time to make amends. Just make sure you use the time.
- S. Munchkins