What a time to graduate from high school. Not since the World War II years, has there been a more turbulent time to leave childhood and enter the adult world. An old adage says, "adversity builds character," and June of 2020 has some of the most extreme and adverse circumstances most of us have ever seen in our lifetime.
The seldom-used acronym FOMO has finally come of age and is now heard often and understood by people of a particular age. For those not of that particular age, FOMO is Fear of Missing Out, and there is a long list of those things missed.
The COVID-19 pandemic erased the last half of school this year. For a high school senior in the class of 2020, that means no memories of the senior trip, spring musical, senior prom, spring sports, skip day, and on and on. Those favorite recollections have been replaced by memories of lap-top at-home learning, facemasks, and a shortage of toilet paper.
The fear of missing out on your graduation is weighing on everyone's minds. School administrators, parents, and relatives are all trying to make graduation from high school and moving into adulthood as memorable as possible for you.
A high school graduation ceremony is a rite of passage that is about more than academic achievements. It's a time for goodbyes to the people you've been with for the past 13 years and to celebrate your future. Without graduation, there will be no closure to your childhood.
If it is any consolation, you will realize as time passes, there are more significant happenings that will come your way in the big scheme of life. Events such as marriage, the birth of children, buying a first home, and others that will all overshadow high school graduation.
Because gathering size and parties are still limited, another missed opportunity at this year's high school graduation is the advice given to the recent graduate about their future from a relative. In an attempt to rectify that missed opportunity, this column will provide some advice that might even be read by a graduating senior. However, experience from past graduation advice columns means that a grandparent will probably impart the following wisdom.