Friday, June 01, 2007

Graduation Day

High schools in my area are having their commencement exercises, and I’ve been enjoying asking graduates--new and old alike--what was going through their minds at that time.

I have found a wide range of answers. Some people were glad to just have high school over. Some wanted it to go forever. Some were jazzed about their next steps. Some were undecided or scared.


For me, it was a combination of feelings. I knew I'd stay close to my friends, so I didn’t experience any loss there. And I was, quite frankly, sick and tired of the same four walls, of the rules and restrictions, and of certain teachers and classmates and their attitudes. I wanted very much to be free...

But freedom for me meant owning up to all my big talk about becoming a writer. While the desire burned in me, I feared I lacked the talent, the contacts, and the guts to make it happen. And eventually, I was going to need to earn a steady paycheck. But doing...what?

In other words, did graduation mean the end of my dreams?

(In case you’re wondering, I eventually found a good compromise. After college, I took a job typing scientific manuscripts at a university that offered great benefits--including 50% off tuition to their evening Writers' Program. The typing was dull, but my writing grew in leaps and bounds. Plus, one morning this handsome grad student named Ferraro came through my door...and three kids later, I sold my first book to Delacorte Press.)

How about you? If you’re a high school graduate, how did you feel on graduation day? And for those of you yet to graduate, any thoughts on how you expect to feel?

8 fresh comments:

Kelly Parra said...

It was exciting. I felt like I was stepping into adulthood and yes, freedom. Even though it took a few years for both to actually happen. haha! Great post, Tina! :) :)

Janie Emaus said...

Tina,
I graduated highschool in Feb and started college after the weekend. So it was a quick transition and to tell you the truth, I don't remember much about that day. Except that I still have those highschool friends and that's what really matter.

Janie

TinaFerraro said...

So you were a freedom girl, too, Kelly, huh? One more thing we have in common...

And Janie, you're right that it's the friends that matter most!

Draven said...

well, i want to be an actress-slash-photographer. but this current snitch gig ive got going with the government could lead to something, so i dont know. i have a couple more years yet to make a decision.

Celise said...

I kinda felt the same way as Kelly. I just wanted my writing career to start. LOL.

TinaFerraro said...

Draven, sounds like you've got some choices ahead!

Celise, you seem like a grab-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of gal! :) I'm looking forward to meeting you later this summer! (Still have to finalize those booksigning plans.)

Megan said...

Right now, I'd like to think I'd be excited that it was finally OVER, but I bet when it actually happens, I'll be a crying, sentimental wreck.

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks for weighing in, Megan. Yep, graduation can be a really emotional time! Check back with us and let us know how it goes...