It is that time again - the month of June - graduations abound, lives are changing, and teens everywhere complete junior high, middle school, and high school. I love all the ritual associated with graduations and promotions - the pomp and circumstance march, the happy families, the relieved youth, the flowers, food, music, parties, and most importantly, the acknowledgment that one more person has accomplished another step along their path in life - successfully.
Rites of passage serve many purposes - usually they focus the person on the next set of opportunities or responsibilities associated with their new status, mark shared values, and readjust the person to their new position - as a teen (in the case of coming of age), partner (as in marriage), high school or college student, or employee.
To those high school students leaving home for the first time and going off to college - be kind to your parents this summer - their support is a blessing, and they are going to miss you. Learn what you may not know, focus on saying goodbye, and remember that you have the skills you need - to just have to apply them.
To those teens graduating from middle school or junior high - extra congratulations to you - junior high has to be some of the toughest years for a teenager. Not only have you successfully learned how to change classes, negotiate with teachers, complete long-term projects, papers, and take final exams, you made it through the toughest social years of your life.
I hope that your promotion to high school includes a sense of security in who you are and who you can become. You have all the skills you need to complete high school - so enjoy your summer and do not fear high school. It will be hard work, but you will do it!
To all graduates, everywhere - blessings for the future you choose to live!