Graduation euphoria and impending responsibility

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

There are few life celebrations that can be as exciting and rewarding as graduation from high school or college. It is a validation that you can achieve your goals if you persevere and keep your eyes on the prize. It doesn’t come without the ever-present support of family and friends who gave you the encouragement in spite of times when things may have seemed dark and gloomy. Graduation is a time when you can unapologetically gloat because it is all about you and a plateau you have reached in life that is to be commended.

However, when the elation settles you may be ready to tackle some real fears because of the realization that you are considered a legitimate adult with all the privileges and responsibility that that entails. While individuals’ maturity level may wane, you are expected to be a responsible, productive, and conscientious individual. In many cases, the love and support continue from family and loved ones—but you will be responsible for making decisions and following through with commitments that were previously made possible by parental involvement.

For those graduating from high school and going to live on a college campus, you must adapt to getting up on time and attending classes without prodding from loving parents. You will have to balance you time wisely, making sure you maintain a decent GPA and not getting too caught up in the social partying scene so prevalent in college life. For the most part you don’t have a curfew, but you must decide your involvement in whether to remain sober and refrain from drugs—an overwhelming task with the lure of peer pressure. You will be in a position to pick your own friends or peers without parental condemnation, which can make or break you. Generally speaking, college should be a fun and rewarding experience if balanced effectively.

In truth, your emancipation puts you in a bittersweet position because it only takes one major mistake to ruin what should be a promising future. Respect your body and think long and hard before inundating it with tattoos that may one day come back to haunt you. Not wanting to sound like the voice of doom and gloom, but this is a time when your spiritual relationship with your Higher Power may be your best and closest ally. Surround yourself with positive and responsible friends with a promise to watch each other’s back. It is okay to claim the word ‘no’ in your vocabulary and follow some of the sagacious advice of the ones who raised you and truly love you.

Now for those graduating from college the bar is even raised higher. You have consistently proven you’re in it to win it, and your actions manifest you are not to be denied. Winning and goal setting are your undeniable companions. Strut proudly with your super ‘bad’ self. You have the right to bast in self-adulation. Take a much-deserved deep breath and decide whether to take your position in the workforce or continue your education. Be mindful that if you take a break, it may be harder to come back and continue your academic pursuits in graduate schools. We all know that jobs are catering to those with a master’s or doctorate degree. The more education you attain, the better your marketability.

So whatever you decide, go forward with a confident attitude. Inundate the market with your resumes increasing your chances of multiple interviews. Dress conservatively when interviewed. Impress your perspective employers with your prepared business knowledge and eloquent articulation. Better yet if possible, take the plunge and start your own business. Believe in yourself. You have already proven you can make things happen.

We must acknowledge and respect the decision of those graduating from high school that may not see a four-year college as their chosen route . Hopefully, they will secure meaningful employment in an area of their interest or opt to gain skills in a technical school or community college.

Nonetheless, you have arrived and the world is yours to conquer. But keep a level head and a close relationship with those whom you know have weathered the storm with you. I’m referring to the parents/grandparents whose prayers and unseen tears probably have helped you through trying times.

They are not only your cheerleaders, enduring sleepless nights, but also the unsung angels who offer themselves as the wind beneath your wings. You‘ll find very few parents or grandparents who won’t support you as long as you’re trying to better yourself. Be worthy of their adulation and support. Continue making us all proud. You are our promise for a brighter future.