Tomorrow, May 16, seniors at Sleepy Eye Public School will officially be finished with their high school careers. High school diplomas will be presented, photos will be taken, and tears will be shed. On May 25, the St. Mary’s seniors will do the same.


I didn’t think of my high school graduation as that big of a deal. I told myself that I wasn’t going to miss it, I was going to move on to bigger and better things. But in reality, the years spent in high school were some of the most important years of my life. High school is when you meet your core group of friends that you will probably have for the rest of your life. It’s also the place when you find out who you really are as a person. Not to mention, it’s where you learn what you’re interested in pursuing as a career in the future.


The biggest misconception I had after high school was that I would continue to see my friends and nothing would change after graduation. However, the moment after high school graduation is when everything changes. Although some friends stick around, you don’t see them nearly as often as you do in high school. I slowly began drifting apart from some old friends when college began. Most of these friends went to a college far from home, so we didn’t really have a connection anymore. It was definitely unfortunate to lose communication with these people, but it’s important to remember all of the new memories you will have post-graduation.


So if there’s one piece of advice I’d give to graduates it’s this: Whether it’s college or not, life after high school is like starting life all over again. Yes you lose old friends, but don’t let that get you down. Hold on to high school memories, but don’t forget that new friends, new memories, and better ways of life are upon you as well. Also, be proud of yourself for graduating! Not everyone can say they have a high school diploma. All of those grueling tests, homework assignments, and hours spent studying have paid off.