Graduation Day is one I have dreamt about since I started school! As I grew up I got to watch my older cousin and sister walk across the stage on graduation day and receive their diplomas. As I went to their graduations I always dreamed about that moment when I would be able to do the same. When I was younger 18 seemed like such a grown up age and I thought as soon as it was my turn to put the cap and gown on and walk across that stage a huge life changing moment would occur and it would feel like I was a officially “grown up”. When that day came and I watched my friends and classmates walk across the stage and I had my moment where I grabbed my diploma and smiled for the picture, I realized  that this dramatic moment  of officially “growing up” didn’t happen when I walked across the stage  but my moments of change and growth were happing all through out my years of school. 

I got my cap in gown in the mail a few weeks before graduation. I was super excited as soon as the package came I tore open the box ripped the cap and gown out of its plastic bag and ran around my house showing my family that I was about to be a “graduate”. When I went to look at myself in the mirror I couldn’t believe that it was my turn to wear the cap and that I was old enough to graduate high school. All the excitement of the endless possibilities hit me but so did the sadness. I realized that with all the new exciting plans for the future I was leaving behind a lot of amazing memories. 

In school I knew all my classmates, teachers, school staff and walking down the hall It felt comfortable and like a second home. As much as going to school could be such a pain, waking up early in the morning when it was winter and freezing it felt safe and familiar.

As much as school stressed me out, I loved it. For my senior year with my demanding work schedule I decided to do online school so my senior year and have been living  as an “adult" but realizing what I was leaving behind after graduating hit me right in the heart. I have always been a really sappy girl and I love pivotal moments and watching as life changes but its hard to see the changes happens. Graduation I was super happy soaking in all that had happened in my year form pre-school to now graduating high school. In those years a lot had happened but now life is about to change again. 

The funny thing about change is that you don’t see it happening but when you look back you see that you have grown as a person and nothing seems the same anymore. Each year when Summer had ended my mom would take my school uniforms out of the top shelve in my closet and all my clothes wouldn’t fit me anymore. My skirts would be too short, my tops wouldn’t be the right size, and my navy blue flats would be too tight. Each September we would be off to the uniform store to get new school clothes. As a kid I would always be so excited to bring home my new uniforms that I would just completely forget about the fact that my old ones were being donated and no longer fit. Each phase of life we grow and grow and we don’t notice until something big happens and then when it does we are so busy focusing on that we forget to notice what we leave behind. Everyday we change just a tiny bit, maybe our appearance or maybe it's our souls changing but the tiny bit we change we don’t notice until we are in a whole new stage of life and reflect on the past.

In four year I learned a lot about life, people and just so much about living that I changed drastically. The Gabby that walked through those big high school doors freshman year isn’t the same girl typing this today. I have changed and that is completely okay and positive! I don’t have life perfectly figured out today but at least now I had experiences and I have failed and learned from those failures to teach me things I need to know in the future. There are thing I regret, there are things that make me cry, there things that make me laugh, there are so many memories from my time in high school that fit into every single category of emotion because of how much I changed over the years. In just one years time I have changed so drastically, that over the next four year I can’t even imagine how much I will change as a person. High school is messy, awkward, painful but full of so much fun and so is life. These lessons we are learning today and changes we are going through are helping prepare us for tomorrow. If on my first day of high school you would have told me all that would happen, change and all that I would do during high school I don’t think I would have believed all that could happen in such a short amount of time.

Change doesn't happen over night but slowly each day tiny changes leads to a bigger changes that leads to who you are today. Change happens slowly without you even noticing until you look back and life is completely different.  In those moments where I changed I didn't see it happening until I put on the cap and gown and it fit!

The cap and gown fit because I had grown so much and learned just enough that I had out-grown high school and changed enough to enter a new phase of life and grow even more.

I still have a lot of life and learning yet to do. I don’t have it all figured out and starting college is terrifying but I know that God has his hand in the plan of my life and I will follow where he leads. 

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