Letter to the Editor: Graduation brings in-between time

Published 7:01 pm Wednesday, June 4, 2008

By Staff
Summer is here for students in across Alabama. Seniors own their coveted diplomas and stand poised to move ahead to the next phase of their lives.
The summer after graduation is kind of a time in between. High school is finished, but college or job or whatever is yet to begin. It can bring feelings of freedom tinged with a bit of anticipation maybe mixed with a little fear.
Someday these young adults will look back this time, smile and marvel at how quickly it passed. So, I say to all of you enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
While the first months after high school are good ones for the graduates, this summer is especially special for another group. The graduating class gets most of the attention, but there is a group of people waiting in the wings for which this summer holds the possibility of being a magic time indeed.
I am talking about the juniors, those students who have now ascended to the lofty position of Senior Class. They may not realize it but this is their day to seize and savor.
Just a few weeks ago, they were still looking up at the folks above them, the upper classmen. In one ceremony, they moved to that place of honor, the group steering the ship of high school next year.
I remember at the end of my junior year when, for the first time on class day, we marched into the auditorium and sat in the seats of honor reserved for the seniors. As we watched the graduates file unto the stage, we had arrived and for the next year we knew the school was ours. After years of waiting, we were the class to notice.
That summer of 1969 we became the Class of 1970, what a heady time, sporting our class rings and posing for our senior portraits. Life was all possibilities, but not in the same way it would be in just one short year. We had an entire year to celebrate, anticipate and prepare for the world waiting for us beyond the halls of high school.
Those long, hot, lazy days before the start of our last year remain in my memory like a fine movie with a rock and roll soundtrack. The future with its important decisions was coming fast, but it was far enough away to allow time for dreaming and just being.
In the months ahead, we got special attention at homecoming and were the honored guests at the prom hosted by the juniors. We walked a bit taller, moved through our classes with an air we never had as freshman, sophomores or even juniors.
Yes, the Class of 2008 has moved on. Diplomas in hand they departed the stage while the juniors waited anxiously in the wings, waving goodbye as they stepped into the vacant seats of honor.
So, graduates we wish you well. May life be kind to you. And juniors, Class of 2009, this is your time, your year to shine. Enjoy it all. Make the most of every day of this magic summer and the coming school year because it passes so much faster than you realize.
Nancy Blackmon is a columnist for The Andalusia Star News.