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So You’ve Got a New Graduate: Advice from a Mom Who’s Been There

Change Happens in the Wind

It’s the end of another school year. The preschoolers will move to kindergarten, the 5th graders to middle school, and the 8th graders to high school. 

But, for just a moment, let’s bring those new high school graduates back into focus. 

They have passed a big point in life, a few, to be exact—and here they are, standing tall, proud, and ready to move forward. Doors are open, and there are so many opportunities to explore: boot camp, college, a trade, or maybe a year off to travel and see what the world has to offer. No matter where they go, it is a part of their journey, and the end goal is the same: to be their best selves and enjoy the experience.  

Don’t Get Overwhelmed, Cherish the Moment from the Beginning to the End

Everything becomes so surreal as we sit in wonder, asking ourselves where all the time went. We remember everything, from field trips to pumpkin patches to college campus tours. 

Little notes from the teachers for encouragement and report cards, where the comments often said, “Good student but talks too much.”  

Artwork from finger painting, handprint cards, and eventually, a shaded fruit bowl or a self-portrait.

Awards and medals from sports and competitions. 

So many things have been packed away only to bring it back on graduation day.

A flood of emotions will come rushing in with all the memories.

Take your time to remember the stories and enjoy friendships then and now.  Relive the band trips and concerts, even the one when someone’s finger was up their nose.  Dive in deep with belly laughs and tears.  Have no regrets as the final days pass, too fast for you, too slow for them. 

Enjoy all of the happiness as your heart overflows with everything. Hold your breath proudly.  Watch them walk with excitement and grace. That smile as they accept that small folder that whispers, “You Did It!” is priceless.

Embrace Them Before They Fly

Life gets messy, and we often get caught up in the hustle, but don’t worry! They are ready to explore endless opportunities.  Enjoy the whole celebration as it is well deserved.  Always remember to take the picture to seize the moment in time!

Keeping the Keepsakes Through the Years

When it comes to package pictures, only buy what you need.  The best value may not be the best fit.

Oh, The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss is a good purchase. Like a yearbook, the teachers can write a message of encouragement to carry them through the years to come.

Artwork is good for collectors but can clutter quickly.

  • Hang drawings and free-time art on the fridge or their bedroom door for a week or two, and then recycle.  
  • Big works such as paintings are displayed for a period of time and then put away until the end of the year.  Over the summer we go through them and keep a few while recycling what is left.  
  • If you love it, frame it!
  • Take a picture and save it to your computer in a file. You can use the pictures to create a slideshow to treasure.  

With technology advancements, all grades and assignments are reported online. Recycle paper copies after you review them.

  • Awards and metals can be framed, placed on a shelf, or in a shadow box.
  • Postcards acknowledging good deeds and recognition. Hang on the wall, bedroom door, or memory board.
  • Teachers’ words of encouragement should be given to the person to whom they are meant so that they can keep them near and dear.

Graduation may be over, but their new adventure is just beginning. You’ve got this, moms!

Congratulations to the new graduates in the Class of 2024 and beyond!
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