A few are distinguished with colored ropes hung about their neck. I find the symbolism ironic. They worked so hard to be the best, I bet sometimes they thought about hanging themselves. But they receive the ropes as kind of a reminder that they can take that noose and use it as a trophy.
Then there is the simple piece of paper that represents the accomplishments of the past 12 years of their lives. 12 years, summed up on one piece of paper in an inexpensive folder. That's some powerful stuff right there.
Then to receive it from a man/woman that you probably haven't ever talked to or known other than they make a lot of decisions that have affected the past 12 years. It's sort of like shaking hands with god and the devil at the same time. God is telling you that you have achieved so much and wishing you good luck. The Devil is telling you that you have to go out and face the real world, you better not screw it up.
Then there is the simple taste of moving a tassel from one side of a hat to the other. It's like opening a door to an entire new world.
Graduation represents moving from the sheltered life of high school into the real world. It's a scary move, but one that everyone has to do. And I wouldn't miss it for the world.
Copyright © 2006 Austin Melcher