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Posts Tagged ‘child to adult’

It is end of the year at school, with exams, report cards, prom and graduation the main talks around the water fountain.

The students who are graduating out of the school system are a totally different group than when they entered.

In the beginning they were possibly still struggling with toileting, could barely print their names, might have been dealing with separation anxiety, and possibly still even needed a car seat .

Now, thirteen years later, they can fix an engine, write a manuscript, run for miles and recite Shakespeare. They can drive a car, survive alone at home, and are just months away from being able to elect our politicians.

Truly, if anyone has, they have experienced the reality of metamorphosis. Who they were in the beginning of their schooling is barely a shadow of who they are today.

Those who are graduating this year are fully immersed into all of the farewells, from all that they have known for the past thirteen years. They are having celebrations, receiving gifts and making plans for the rest of their lives. They may not know what their immediate or long term future will look like, but they all share one common bond … they are leaving home.

Now they might not be leaving their parent’s home, but they are leaving their school, and whether they spent just a year or all thirteen years there, they are leaving home.

School is not just a place of education, it is also a microcosm, or small picture, of society and more specifically, of family. Within the walls of every school are:

* the ‘perfect’ cousins, who do it all the right way … always!
* the uncle or aunt who is always carrying mints.
* the grandfather with a flatulence problem.
* the grandmother who cannot match her clothing colors.
* the weird uncle.

The list goes on and on.

The school family, like the ones we share Christmas with, is not perfect. It is often unpredictable, nosy, odd and embarrassing. It can make you feel as though it is ruling and ruining your life. It can seem like the only chance at freedom and a good and healthy future is to leave.

And then the day comes, and you hold that diploma, and it is time to leave … forever.

And whether you loved your school home, or were convinced that you never should have been there, all that you knew is done, over and gone … and it is never, ever going to be the same again.

The school family was not just the negative, the strange, the obscure. It was also the place where you had, not just moments of failure, but also moments of success. It was where that one teacher would say, “how are you?” and you knew that he or she really wanted to know. It was where you got your first taste of a gift or ability that you could be passionate about … in the lab, the computer room, the drama class, the gym, the English class, or in chatting it up with the custodian. It was where you first dealt with your fear of public speaking, test taking, sports, an engine, or computers (okay, that is just the staff).

When a graduate leaves their school home, there is adjustment coming. The expected is no more, the unexpected is all that is before you. The safe places to hide, and the spotlight to shine on you are changed. A temporary homelessness descends, and adjustment is necessary.

It was the school home. It is the place where students have gone from child to adult.

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