Happy summer everyone! In the last six weeks four out of five of our kids graduated – two from college on May 1 and May 16, one from graduate school on May 6, and one from high school on June 15.
One graduation was virtual and we watched online, one was outside on a rainy and dreary day, one was inside and we wore masks, and one was held outside on a beautiful June evening. While our graduates were limited as to how many family members could attend graduation events, they were overjoyed to have graduations at all.
It is safe to say that all of our graduates are in a period of transition. Two are interviewing for jobs that are the right fit, one started working in northern Virginia at his first job out of college, and one is working two summer jobs while he prepares to enter college away from home. One child is moving to the Southwest and one child may be moving from a beautiful mountain state back East. We are going through our own changes as parents as well. I cannot imagine what life will look like in mid-August when our youngest packs up and moves into his dorm room – and then we drive away.
Feelings before and after graduation are complex. Students feel happiness and joy and a strong sense of accomplishment and pride. Yet they also feel anxious, fearful, grief, loss, sadness, and uncertainty. Graduations – and transitions -- are bittersweet.
To our Class of 2021 graduates: build resilience, stay positive, be empowered to live your life and, as John Legend told the Duke University Class of 2021, “Love should be your North Star. Let it guide you.”
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Ellice Halpern, J.D., is a Virginia Supreme Court certified general and family mediator.