By: Ellie Falahee
This is the first time I have gotten back on my computer to write anything more formal than a Facebook post since graduating high school two weeks ago; so I figured, what better to write about than graduation itself? First of all, a HUGE congrats to all the graduates out there! Whether it was 8th grade, high school, college, clown school, or anything in between, HOORAY! You did it! Your hard work and perseverance paid off, and the door to your next adventure is open wide awaiting your arrival!
With graduation being such a definitive ending of one part of a person’s life and the beginning of the next, there is a hopeful anticipation that each graduate exudes – the future, as we know it, is finally tangible and within reach! All of our enduring has actualized the dream we were working towards, and we can carry forward with confidence and enthusiasm!
However, as I have been reflecting on the beauty of this newly-graduated mentality, it has really struck me that I did not feel this elated at the end of any of my other school years. And while there is something special about moving to a new school or a new job to “begin anew,” who is to say that the future only begins once we receive our newest diploma? As Pope Saint John Paul II once said, “the future starts today, not tomorrow.” The future does not begin when we walk out the doors of our high school for the last time, or when we finally get that job we have been striving for throughout the entire duration of our career; the future begins even in the pursuit of these things.
No matter your year in school or position at work, I encourage you to adopt the excited anticipation that graduation has provided me; to really appreciate where you are now instead of seeing it only as a step down the path towards the goal for which you are striving. The here and now is just as exciting as the future that we dream of, because it is the here and now that makes that future possible! I once read a quote that said “light tomorrow with today,” which I think really is an accumulation of what I am trying to say here. The choices we make today, the work we put in, and the attitude we maintain throughout it all, are what builds the bridge to get us to tomorrow and ultimately becomes our starting point when we wake up the next day.
Graduation is such an exciting time. So many changes are taking place, and my world feels entirely different than it did a month ago! But I wish I hadn’t waited until I walked across that stage at graduation to let myself feel this way. Looking back on the late nights I spent doing homework or the early mornings I went into school to make test corrections or study with friends before a big exam, I realize that I was only enduring these things until I brought my goal of graduating high school to fruition. I thought graduating high school would be the start of my future, but I was so wrong! It was in those little moments, like waking up at 6 a.m. and going through the sometimes mundane routine of school, that my future began!
So, as I close, I just want to remind you that your future is not tied to a diploma or a promotion. Your future begins today, wherever you are and right where you are. Every single day is a new chance to start again and to create the future of which you dream.