It seriously feels like just yesterday I put on my cap and gown. Nervous. Excited. Anxious. Unsure. Sad. Thrilled. Graduation day is a mix of a thousand emotions. I remember waking up that day and deciding that I wanted to chose to be happy, for the most part, on that special occasion!
To the class of 2016,
You will have plenty of time to be sad later this summer as you prepare to really say goodbye. I hate to say that, but it is true. You will be sad at some point, but today should not be that day. This is the day you have been working for all of your life. Enjoy it!!! You deserve it! After all the tests, papers, quizzes, projects, and overall work this is your time to celebrate yourself. Never again in your life will you walk out in front of basically your whole hometown (because Stuttgart) cheering you on. It is such a special time! Odds are later you will look back and wish you would have enjoyed it more, but for today just try to live in the moment. Take in the view from the field. Smile at your friends. Hug your teachers. Be confident. Throw that cap high. Don’t trip… If you do, laugh. Thank your parents and family. Listen to the speeches… I promise they have useful stuff in them. Thank God for the many lessons learned and many memories made. This chapter is closing whether you like it or not… The thing to do at the moment is to enjoy it. I wish I could go back for the day and be in your shoes because today is truly going to be such a special day. Please be thankful for that when you finally lay your head down tonight after all is said and done. You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him! Congratulations Class of 2016!!! You are also SHS alumni… Just let that sink it!
To Hannah Oliver,
Hard to believe this day has come, huh? I think back to my graduation day… Oh how strong and encouraging you were! I wish with my whole heart that I could be there today to cheer you on! Here’s where the whole “different chapters” things seems to really mess things up all again. BUT I have excellent news… As soon as you take that diploma in your hand and walk out of Ned Mosley Stadium, you and I are back in the same chapter. Just like that! In the blink of an eye! I am so excited for your future and I am even more excited to see just how exactly that includes me. I have known you for what feels like my whole life. Our roles in each others life’s are constantly changing, but one thing is for sure: I have so enjoyed watching you grow into the young women you are today! So many people love you and so many people are extremely proud of you… Including me! I have had my time in this crazy “new chapter” that comes with graduating high school. I am ready to see what all you do with your new chapter! You are going to thrive… I just know it. I know you are excited for Mississippi State (ha GO FROGS) and I know you are sad to leave SHS, which has been so near and dear to your heart, but I encourage you to trust that God has a plan… A a dang good one at that! Here’s to you my sweet, loving, unforgettable, smart, talented friend. Happy Graduation Day!!!
The seasons change so quickly and soon enough all these seniors will look back and be (an upcoming Junior in college) and they will be feeling nostalgic like I am today! Hail noble alma-matter… Dear old Stuttgart High!
May you all say a prayer for all the seniors all around the world, but especially some of my dear friends in Stuttgart, AR!
Be excited. Be present. Be full of joy! Be thankful on your graduation day!
Southern and Thankful