Graduation in The Driveway

This morning Russ and I went to a surprise Driveway drop-in to say congratulations to Leander Perun for graduating from Denison. Her brother Drew is due to graduate from Cardinal Gibbons in a week also, but this celebration was for his sister.

The loss of graduation is sad for the family, but to me the loss of those last sweet weeks of college is the saddest. Spending time with your best friends made over the last four years is something you can not replace. Never again, not at any reunion, wedding or other get together will you ever have all your friends and those carefree last days of college.

I have great memories from those weeks senior year of college packing in as many memory making activities as we could. When I graduated from college we were in the middle of a terrible recession. Jobs were hard to come by, people were worried, but not so much that we didn’t revel in spending time together.

The actual graduation was the least exciting event of the senior year. It was bittersweet. Yes, we had accomplished fulfilling our academic requirements and for our parents they had completed paying for it, spending the last hours with our class of friends was sad, but we were together.

For this year’s class of graduates they had no warning that those last few days in March would be the last time they would be together. They didn’t get to have heart felt talks with friends, or final chances to confess a crush on someone, or make up with someone you had harsh words with. Granted young people are more connected electronically now. We only had letter writing and expensive long distance calls to keep us together after college.

The class of 2020 got robbed and nothing can change that, but don’t let that hold you back from having lifelong connections with your college friends. You may have more free time right now to communicate, since few of you are rushing into jobs right now. Those too will come. Pandemics, like recessions eventually subside. It is part of the ebb and flow you will experience many times in life. Learning to ride it out is a skill that you can draw on. Realizing that things go up and go down helps prepare you to be resilient.

So congratulations to Leander and all the graduates out there. The fact you did not have a real graduation does not diminish your years of hard work.

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