It’s graduation season! From kindergarten to college, graduates are everywhere. We recently attended a high school graduation for our oldest granddaughter. Our auditorium was full of well-wishers for the 100+ students capping their high school careers. It’s an exciting time of endings and beginnings; a time of decision-making about the future and all that it holds. It’s a time of smiles, gifts and celebration of the accomplishments of the student.

For some high school or college students, it may also bring some anxiety about what’s next. What will I do next fall, when others go back to school? Where will I go to school? What job might I find in my field? All of these are great questions and ones that may not be answered easily.  For parents and family members, graduation season is often an emotional time. Their baby is grown and ready to leave the nest! Time has gone so quickly! These are statements you’ll likely hear at any graduation.

For some people, it’s a challenging time. They may experience sadness to be leaving an environment that they’ve known for a long time. They may fear the unknown of what’s to come. They may experience a sense of loss about leaving friends or loved ones. These are normal feelings!! It’s okay to be present with the emotion and work through it. Here are some quick tips to support you and your grad so that you can enjoy the season rather than be overwhelmed by it:

  1. Remember to honor both the past and the future, by being present in the moment.

  2. Encourage your grad to plan ahead for graduation day and beyond before graduation, so it does not come all at once (or feel like it does).

  3. Have your grad practice what they will say to the inevitable questions “What will you do now? Where will you go to school?”

  4. Encourage your grad to express gratitude to their supporters. And let them be of support!

  5. Celebrate wisely! The party does not have to be all that. It needs to be meaningful to the graduate. Nobody cares what the food is or even if there is any!

  6. If the emotion is out of control, seek help. It’s a great time to speak with a counselor or someone who you trust. Talk it out, plan it out, and then take action!

Here’s to all of our graduates: Congratulations and well done!