The most important event to date of my life so far has finally arrived. What I have always strove for was now right in front of my face. Fourteen years of my life, (including preschool and kindergarten) has finally paid off and I was going to graduate. To this day I can still feel the many emotions and thoughts associated with this event held on May 29, 2010.
Junior year and senior year I struggled with grades and was walking on a thin line due to grades. When I found out that I was going to graduate and all the hard work really did pay off, I immediately fell into a euphoric state. This was about two weeks prior until graduation, and a week later I ordered my cap and gown.
I associate this memoir with prior events and days because the events preceding it made it more special. Like getting my green 1995 clean Firebird as a gift. As well as finding out whom my true friends are and what was really important, rather than all the social drama associated with high school. Looking ahead to the future for example but still living a life isn’t a bad thing.
The day before was quite boring looking back now. We had to go to the St. Augustine amphitheater and rehearse. I can still remember our principal stating graduation will only last an hour to an hour and a half tops. Well, the day had finally come and I can still remember the hot humid air in Florida that day, which was roughly 95 to 100 degrees out. On the contrary though there was a decent breeze for a little. There wasn’t a cloud in sight. It was the perfect morning, just imagine every other states perception of Florida’s weather.
We were told to be there no later than 8:30. I decided to pick up a friend of mine since I got a car and drive there. It was quite funny to see all the kids driving to graduation on the road. When we arrived I was in awe of the present scenario that surrounded me. A huge amphitheater that curved like a half circle and blue and black decorations perfectly arranged filled the space. Gradually more and more people showed up so that’s when all of us graduates went back stage.
Unfortunately that first hour of “supposed time” was spent in hot rooms waiting to start while the teachers and everyone else went and ate food in their room as well as the principal taking some time to go to McDonalds, I’m sure for research purposes of course. So the time had come to walk and it was roughly 9:30 or 10:00. All of the kids were separated in to two groups, and directed to a left or right side of stage because we were fixing to walk through the stands.
The music began (the band played the trumpets) and we walked through the center of all the stands and down the middle to where we sat up by the stage. Honestly it was quite a sight to see especially all the parents standing up and cheering, there was so many of them. All applauding us from every direction, I guess you could add that to ones utopia, I just cannot describe the feeling of that day.
As I was walking I can remember searching for my family, and spotting them literally at the very top. By that time I was an emotional rollercoaster, all positive vibes of course. The thoughts of being successful transpiring in my mind with the possibility of even going further were present then as well. I could not help but think of my mother who unfortunately was not blessed with the same opportunities as I was and did not graduate. On the contrary she went and got her college degree a few years ago and is now a well-known physical therapy assistant amongst her colleagues. I could also recall thinking of my late aunt who I wish could have been there to see me walk.
When we sat in our seats the principal and valedictorian made their speeches then it was time to begin. The principal would call row by row and in order from left to right the speakers would present diplomas and our names in opposite order. Such as left side first then right then left then right. The whole set up was extraordinary.
After graduation which lasted three hours not one and a half , My family which included my mom , stepfather , grandparents, brother , father who flew in, and family friends took me out to eat at the Conch House In St. Augustine Florida. The food was awesome and the fresh seafood smell was exquisite, but I ended up leaving early since I drove there. It was time to party!
In retrospect I learned a lot about myself in those few weeks leading up to graduation. The most important lesson was indirectly from my peers and relatives showing me that I could do what I set my mind to. I missed out on such things such as prom but I don’t regret that as much as the thought of not graduating on time or not at all. This moment in life was the most content I have ever felt.