Justin Blowers

Here’s to the graduates who have and will be walking across the stage this month.

Here’s to the high schoolers who now take one of the biggest steps of their lives. Whether they decide to join the work force, join the military, attend a community college, attend a four-year college or even take a gap year, here’s to their accomplishment. They have survived 12 years, or more, of morning and afternoon bells every Monday–Friday.

Standardized tests, AR books, AP classes, dual enrollment, etc., all conquered by these graduates to walk across that stage. Congratulations.

Here’s to the graduates walking across the stage of a two-year institution. You have your associate’s degree and whether you decide to join the military, join the workforce or pursue a higher degree, you’ve conquered two years of college.

That’s no easy task yet you stand triumphant. You’ve managed to get your life together enough to abide by the test and class schedules of college.

You were given more freedom and you didn’t take it for granted. Congratulations.

Here’s to the four-year graduates, walking across the stage with their bachelor’s degree. Four more years of school is a long time. And if it took you longer than four years, it doesn’t matter. You’ve still graduated.

Now your journey truly begins whether it’s the military, workforce or pursuing a higher degree. Congratulations.

Here’s to the graduates of medical school, law school, dental school, master’s degree, doctoral degree, etc.

You’ve been in school a very long time, but now you’re out. You’re in a class of your own. Your dedication to your craft and your education is impressive and respected. Congratulations.

Here’s to the teachers of the graduates. It’s hard to graduate without learning even a little bit. You’ve prepared them for their next steps into the world. You’ve given them knowledge and guided them to completion of whatever level of education they’re receiving. Yet another class walks across the stage, but your classrooms will be full with new students come August. Congratulations.

Last, but certainly not least, here’s to the parents of all these graduates. Your baby is all grown up now.

They couldn’t have done it without your love and support. They couldn’t be here if you hadn’t taken them to school when they missed the bus. They couldn’t be here if you hadn’t helped them with projects. They couldn’t be here if you hadn’t pushed them to better themselves.

So dry your eyes just long enough to see your baby grab their diploma or degree or certification. There’s plenty of time for crying for later, but they only get one walk across the stage. Don’t miss it. This is their time. Congratulations to you and your graduate.

Justin Blowers is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are his own and not the opinion of the paper. He can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at sjblowers@southeastsun.com.

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