If you grew up in the 1980s or if you have seen any of the gazillion movies and TV shows about it — trudging through high school and then graduating is quite a celebrated monstrosity, rather cherished event.
Legendary director John Hughes spent a fair bit of his lifetime making movies about high school life into adulthood — “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Sixteen Candles,” and even “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Weird Science.” During the 1970s, according to that show about life growing up in the 1970s or “That ‘70s Show” — it was a time to let your long hair down, not stress the small stuff thanks to the casual smoking of herb and the imbibing of the nectar of the gods, and a time to cherish relationships and the fun had, while finishing up high school and planning for the future.
And, one debatable point, the almost unbearable soundtrack to the 1980s was nothing compared to its predecessor, the 1970s. The 1950s had “Grease” and “Happy Days” and the 1960s had “The Wonder Years.”
In Grade 12, in any era, a student must try to figure out what direction to follow once a successful graduate. Or at least that’s what parents and counsellors want for students for the future. Many students waver back and forth with future thoughts of splendor. Should I go to college or university? Should I work first to save up money for educational pursuits? Should I take a year off? What if I make the wrong decision? What happens if what I choose isn’t what I want to do with my life? These are all questions many students ask, when faced with the inevitable task of figuring out a perfectly paved future. There is no perfectly paved future. There’s twists, turns, detours, road blocks and driving off cliffs. That is life and with it comes great learning opportunities.
In high school, students have likes and dislikes and passions about this and that. Parents often have different likes, dislikes and passions for their kids. This is a cycle that continues and was forever prevalent growing up in any decade. Today, there are so many more opportunities for students than before and the world is filled with a plethora of future endeavours for adults-to-be.
Parents need to cut the cord and let students learn from mistakes, make well-informed decisions, take chances and be who they want to be — it’s easier said than done, but students need to do what it is they want to, and not be persuaded by their parents. Sure, they want what is best for their kids but the world is already full of do this and don’t do that. Why do students need to be defeated before being in the running for a lifelong journey?
Graduation is a scary time in a student’s life. Sure, many students can’t wait and long for the day, as others feel it doesn’t really matter and aren’t too keen on the idea. Some students can’t wait to finish high school, while others love high school and everything about it.
Graduating students of today, welcome to the Class of 2016 and may the force be with you, wherever it may lead you.