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Stepping Upward: The symbolism of graduations

Updated: May 3

Photo by Juan Ramos on Unsplash

May is a big month as high school seniors become high school graduates. We simply could not be more proud of our GEC seniors who will be attending some amazing universities in nearly a dozen different states.

The term graduation is derived from the Latin term gradus which means to “take a step upward” as if on a ladder or staircase. Our seniors are certainly taking a step upward when they walk across stages. Understanding graduation in this light reminds us of a couple of important mental settings we must have about the education of our teens:

  • Graduation is not so much as a completion of an education as it is a milestone on a journey of learning. The goal isn’t to become educated, but to engage in the cycle of life-long learning.

  • Have you ever seen a ladder with only one rung? It wouldn’t really work too well. Likewise you are always graduating from something, in that you learn from an experience and move on from it. You may only have a few times to wear a cap and gown, but whether it is relationships, a book you have read, or a trip you have taken to a new place, we engage with the world so as to learn about ourselves and our surroundings and grow as a human being.

  • Graduations are also an opportunity to publicly celebrate the step you are taking. As you progress through your education, be sure to take time to celebrate the journey. Don’t forget to thank those who have helped you on those steps on the ladder.

Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2024! We are all so proud of this impressive step upward you have taken, and we cannot wait to see how you will impact the world.

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