The Bar-On Brief: Graduation 2016 — the only of its kind

It’s not just another turn in the schooling cycle

The Bar-On Brief: a weekly column
The Bar-On Brief: a weekly column

“If it’s the ultimate game,” Duane Thomas of the Dallas Cowboys once said in reference to the SuperBowl, “how come they’re playing it again next year?”

Thomas certainly has a point, and the same logic can be applied to this year’s graduation ceremony. After all, the same ceremony has taken place before and will take place many more times in the years to come.

Tomorrow, the Class of 2016 will walk across Mustang Field and receive their diplomas. In 20 years, they probably will not keep in touch with the vast majority of their classmates or remember their teachers’ names.

The same is probably happening with the class of 2015 and will most likely happen with the class of 2017.

But no matter what, the memories and lessons from high school, both the ones they will choose to never forget and the ones they will try ever so hard to get rid of, will always stay with them — and that is true for every student who will ever walk across that stage.

For me, it will be a bittersweet moment tomorrow when I see some of my best friends, some of the most influential people I have ever met, leave this school — my school. 

Illustration by Mila Sviderskaya
Illustration by Mila Sviderskaya

I will call Homestead “my school” for another year, but next year, my school will be radically different from what it has been up. Some 600 adults will leave, and some 600 new kids will enter. New faces, new personalities and new memories.

Sure, you can say it’s another turn of the cycle, that this year’s graduates are simply playing their role in the schooling system, just as every class across the country does. But I refuse to consider myself and my classmates as mere constants traveling through time.

We are not constant. High school is not just another place we spend our time. It is the place where we begin to find ourselves, where we change. It’s the first place we are exposed to areas we never knew existed, both academically and socially.

That is not to say high school is the end of exploration and personal growth.

There’s a reason “commencement” is a synonym for graduation. I think the yearbook staff understands what I’m talking about. Flip to the last page of your yearbook and read Winston Churchill’s quote. Spot-on.

So why is this year’s graduation ceremony unlike any other? Well, it really isn’t from an outsider’s perspective. But for us, and especially for the Class of 2016, it’s a special day. This is their graduation ceremony.

And in some ways, whether it’s not seeing the same faces in the hallway or being deprived of a friend and role model, each one of us current students will be affected.  

So no, it’s not like every other graduation ceremony. This is Homestead’s graduation ceremony 2016.

And with that, for the last time this school year, I rest my case.