Wednesday, May 18, 2016

To the Class of 2016

Tomorrow I'll be attending Lakewood High School's Senior Presentations, where the graduating class of 2016 will present a portfolio of accomplishments to a board of community members and school staff. I went  last year for the first time and really enjoyed seeing what these kids in our community had done and what they had planned for their futures.

I was thinking what I'd say to these kids if I were the one doing the presenting.  What advice would I give them?  Luckily for me I won't be the one in the hot seat (needing to pass in order to graduate), but if I was it'd go something like this:

First of all, I'm totally going to pass you.  That is a given, so no worries there.  Unless you spend your time ranting about how Donald Trump will make America great again.  Okay, I'll probably still pass you, but you'd better have a solid argument.  And chocolate wouldn't hurt.

Next, even though I've probably never met most of you, I am proud of your accomplishments and look forward to what you'll do in the future.  When my son graduated a couple years ago, the school district superintendent in his speech told them "Lakewood loves you."  And I thought how true that is.  We are a community that is centered around our small school district (three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school all within walking distance of each other).  These are our kids.  Even if I don't personally know them or their parents or their siblings.  If you tell me you went to Lakewood, I will consider you to be one of ours. (So behave accordingly.)

I'd also tell you that while your parents (and other adults of my generation) may seem totally uncool and completely un-tech savvy, keep in mind we were the ones who taught you how to use the toilet.  And eat with utensils.  And tie your shoes, and read, and...One day all the stuff you know now will be obsolete and your kids will roll your eyes at you, too.  And us grandmas and grandpas will laugh and laugh.

Lastly, I'd tell them that while graduating from high school is an important step, this is just one of the many important steps you'll take.  Travel the world, go to college, learn a trade, but keep going.  You are already moving in the right direction--why stop now?

Wait! Always separate your darks from your lights when doing laundry, never open an email claiming to be from a Nigerian prince who wants to give you money, and be nice to your little sister!

I think that's it.

I am ready to be amazed by all the presentations tomorrow.  (And remember kids, Mrs. Graf likes dark chocolate.)