It is quite crazy how, all of a sudden life hits you in the face with a huge smack. You realize that all your years of school, have indeed amounted to twelve years, and now it is time to graduate high school.
high school is something you have worked hard for, yet when it comes it
feels like 'it just happened'. For some, it is a sudden and very
This is because as you go through high school, you cannot always see or envision those days when homework will be no more, when you will have the choice about what to do next. The time when you may have step into the real work, and live that 'life' that everyone has been talking about - may seem so distant. But then grade 12 comes by and tells you that all of that is real, and that it is happening now.
When it comes, it feels quite out of the blue, yet it could not have come a moment sooner.
It's quite a weird feeling to be in this moment right now, a moment that you know you will continuously refer to and look back on in years too come, throughout all your life. It really is a milestone, and quite surreal.
The last sesmeter of high school can be one filled with excitement yet apprehension. For one thing, you look forward to the summer; the summer you graduate high school. Yet that which is beyond can lead to a huge feeling of apprehension.
After all, as many students have discussed at great length before:
You are thus far in life, and now you are generally expected to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life.
You have reached a certain age or level, and now everyone else is excitedly watching as you put your finger on exactly what you plan to do next.
Of course, you should feel privileged and thankful to have the support of all those who are excited to see you progress in life. Nevertheless it can still be a daunting time and you may very easily feel pressured.
What are ya gonna do? There's no escaping the responsibility that comes with graduating, because you are literally leaving childhood behind and embarking on the world of adulthood. At the end of the day, or at the end of the year shall we say, you've got to make a choice. Even if that choice is to do 'nothing' for now and take time off.
were younger you may have vividly imagined of all the cool jobs that adults can
do. We all had our fair share of playing pretend and exploring the
lifestyles that we could make up in your head. But did your six year old self know that the actual decision making would come round so soon?
Yes, a lot of time may have passed since careers and jobs were a game, lots of things may have happened in between. Yet, it feels like yesterday that we were watching our parents and daydreaming about what interesting pursuits would fill our futures.
Grade twelve is literally the year when you research like you have never done before. And I'm not just talking about that English paper. This is likely research that you have chosen to do yourself.
The opportunity to chose and have freedom always seemed like a great thing, yet you as you wrap up high school, your thoughts on that may change. After months of talking about post-grad, you may even wish that someone would just tell you what to do when you leave.
But that's the beautiful thing about grade twelve. You have to use your critical thinking as well as the loving suggestions and guidance you receive, to make your own decision.
No one can really do it for you.
What happens after grade twelve is what really opens your eyes to the world that you have been living in all along. For instance, a year after graduation is when you see who has been working, and who has not. You see those who were actually committed and dedicated, versus those who just wanted to party and 'turn up to exams'.
You don't have to treat school as if it is THE most important thing in the world, but if you put in that extra bit of effort, you see the results. It takes you a long way compared to if you do not try at all. The way I've always seen it, is that you should put your best effort into whatever your are doing at the moment, and if you choose to mess around during high school, you will reap the rewards of that.
The last year of high school is the point where everything starts to separate and make way for new beginnings. When everyone has graduated and moved on, you will also observe those who viewed high school as mainly a social opportunity, in the sense that popularity was their main concern. They too will have a shocking realization, as they discover that there is more to life than high school drama, and that they will have to step up for the real world.
As you walk out of school on that totally un-real last day of grade twelve, you may well remember the first day of grade ten, and the time when you first walked into high school. What experiences you have had! How much you have grown and transformed as a person. And although you may adamantly believe that you will never have to use trigonometry again, hopefully you should genuinely feel enriched by the opportunity you have had to learn.
If you have your whole life from now on mapped out, great! Go for your dreams and aspirations! But if you haven't, that is OK, too, because life often turns out a little different anyway.
Always cherish the pleasant experiences and treasure store of (sometimes quite awesome) knowledge that high school gave you as you move on to the next chapter of your life.
You've got this!
And never forget:
The world is your oyster.
p.s No, I was not the valedictorian, but this is my go at motivating you high school students. It will have to do. ;)
Thank you so much for reading up to this part, it was a long one.
I wish you all the best!
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Below is an excerpt from Jhené Aiko's Poetry Book, 2Fish, that is both moving and beautiful. Here's a moment of reflection on the words and the meaning they convey.
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