Kidding Around: Graduations Galore

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

This past week I went to every high school graduation in Rutherford County. Every single one of them. Except for Rutherford Early College High School (REaCH) of course, I went to that one in May.

I have heard graduation speeches from distinguished guests, principals and students. I have heard quotes from Disney movies, Dr. Seuss and my personal favorite 'someone' because someone once said.

I have taken pictures of the smiling, and sometimes not smiling, faces of graduates as they sat in their chairs and anxiously awaited the presentation of diplomas. And I have nervously looked at the paper the next day, hoping that the articles came out well and that the graduates and parents would appreciate them.

Monday night as I stood at Chase High School, thinking about how relieved I was that this was the last time for a while I had to worry about getting a graduation story written so close to deadline, I started thinking about my personal experiences with high school graduation.

My high school graduation was pretty normal. The only real hitch we had was the prank some of my classmates decided to pull. Let me tell you that our teachers were not happy when we showed up for graduation practice the morning before and the chairs they had set up on the football field had been moved around to spell out 2007. They also weren't fans of the chairs that found their way up onto the football goalposts.

After a stern talking to from our principal and the threat that we would have our graduation inside if anyone tried to play another prank, the practice continued and the big day finally came.

I'm sad to say I actually don't remember much about my high school graduation. Our valedictorian spoke about something none of the rest of us could understand, we wondered who thought that these hats and robes were a cute outfit idea and we got in trouble with our teachers because we didn't walk out correctly in lines.

Through the cheers of the rude people who never listen when the principals ask them to hold their applause until everyone gets their diplomas, which also happened at every single one of the high school graduations I attended this year, we all walked across the stage and completed our time in Randolph County Schools.

Although I don't remember much about the actual graduation day, I do remember that my senior year of high school was one of my favorites. My friends and I dressed up for tacky day, rocked out during school spirit green and gold days and enjoyed our last lunches together in the cafeteria.

Many times we sat out in the parking lot and had some crying sessions. Going from seeing each other everyday to only seeing each other on college holidays was a scary thought. We listened to Vitamin C's "Graduation Song," Green Day's "Good Riddance" and of course Rascal Flatts' "My Wish."

It seems silly now, all of the stressing I did about leaving home. Mostly because I still keep in touch with my high school friends and get to see them occasionally when I visit. Back then, I thought it was almost an ending for those friendships. Everything seemed so final. But as I heard in many graduation speeches this year, it wasn't the end, it was only the beginning.

As for the graduating Class of 2013, I have some advice for you as you move on to wherever it is you are going.

First of all, meet as many people as possible. The saying 'it's not what you know, it's who you know," is really a true statement in what we call the 'real world.' Be nice to everyone, you never know when you are going to need that person's help for something. And for those of you that are going to college, enjoy it. College was awesome.

Congratulations Class of 2013. Good luck in whatever you choose to do in the future.