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Changing the World, One Tassel at a Time

Graduation season has arrived. It’s that special time of year when those we still see as children are celebrating a transition into adulthood. Meanwhile, the rest of us find ourselves shocked by just how long it’s been since we graduated. If you’re lucky enough to be a family member of a graduate, you’ll be feeling the repercussions of extended family travels and get-togethers, anxiety about your son, daughter, or little sibling growing up and leaving home, or perhaps the regret of eating one too many slices of celebration cake.

I found myself in that very group last weekend as my “little” brother graduated from high school. His achievement certainly snuck up on me, and the seven-year age difference between us suddenly seemed to be much smaller than it once was. It felt like he would be a little kid forever. I can remember how fuzzy his hair was when he was a toddler and the way he would giggle at the dog. Fast-forward a few years and we now find ourselves fellow adults navigating a similar season of life.

Being present during any graduation ceremony will bring to mind memories of one’s own. I can still feel the attitudes, fears, and innocence I carried about the whole event when I turned my tassel from right to left. That moment seems like decades ago, which isn’t surprising considering the astonishing amount of self-revelation and enlightenment one often tends to find in their twenties. We become different people as we change, learn, grow, and experience life’s best and worst moments. It’s there, in that realization, that we can see it. Those 18-year-olds who look so fresh and inexperienced, really hold the key to the future. And so to you, baby brother, and the class of 2013 I tip my dusty, crinkled, now antique graduation cap.

I hope that you are the one to change world. I hope that I am the one to change the world. I hope that we are the ones to change the world.

Here at Colorado Public Television we’ve been telling the stories of young people who are on a quest to graduate through our American Graduate initiative. We’d like to hear your story too. Please leave a comment on this blog or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

 For more resources or a look into the American Graduate initiative, please visit our Colorado Public Television High School Dropout Crisis web page.

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