Graduation phrases familiar, but still true

Published 6:42 pm Monday, June 21, 2010

Hi, everyone! Here we are, at long last, at graduation! We havebeen waiting for this day for quite a while. And we have marked thetime to this day accordingly-whether by an e-mailed countdown ormarked-down days on a calendar.

It’s been a crazy year. I’ve worked hard to become salutatorian.It took a lot of determination on my part. But we all worked justas hard with equal conviction every day. We all worked hard becausewe wanted to be here at Mississippi School of the Arts. We allworked hard in our classes: Photography, Writer’s Studio, MusicTheory, Dramaturgy, AP English, Economics, German, Chemistry …the list goes on. Juggling all our classes and responsibilitiesbecame difficult at times. Days filled with critiques,performances, studying, tests – it was a challenge. But we allstuck around. We all worked hard and here we are, about to startthe next chapter of our lives.

Whether you are ready to leave and never look back, or feel asense of loss leaving our school, you will always have memories ofMSA. Good memories, bad memories, funny memories. What I willremember about MSA is the sense of family. Maybe a very large,dysfunctional, strange family, but still – a family nonetheless. Atno other school is this level of closeness possible. And thisfriendly environment has produced original, innovative people. Ithas also been the setting for interesting times.

It’s hard to express the good things I wish for you all withoutsounding cliché. So, I am going to embrace the clichés used theworld over. Here we go: The flowers of tomorrow are born in theseeds of today, so spread your wings. You have an unprecedentedopportunity. We are the future – so don’t change! This is the timeof our lives. Walk through the open door. The future is in yourhands. Follow your dreams. This is the first day of the rest of ourlives. It’s not the end, it’s the beginning.

These clichés are cheesy and eye-roll worthy. But they are true.And I really do mean them all sincerely. Congratulation, graduates.Thank you!

April Jana Garon is the daughter of Mickey and Jan Garon.