This is Life, Based on a True Story  

Grads taking over the world

Another year has come to an end – school year that is. 

For the most part, I’ve always loved the end of the school year. I loved the warmer weather, the no-agenda days and most of all, I loved not having to pack lunches every day (pretty sure I speak on behalf of every parent ever on this one!)

This year was different for me though. This was not only the end of the school year for my daughter – it was also the end of the grade school system for her. She graduated Grade 12 this year.

My feelings over this accomplishment are mixed – in a good way.

I’m not the first, nor will I be the last, parent to experience that utter feeling of pride when watching your child stroll across the stage to receive their diploma.

I had the classic teary moment when they called out her name. It really is true that you live your best life through your children.

Until I had my own, I never really “got” that intense feeling of wanting good things to happen for another person as badly as I do for my own offspring.

And so here I am today, writing this column and I’m still basking in the glow that belongs to my girl.

She’s decided to take some time off, work and play for a bit, maybe/hopefully travel and experience a bit of life, then head off to higher education and conquering the world.

Her dad and I have done our jobs. She’s accomplished a lot in her 18 years and she has much to be proud of.

As I was sitting in the auditorium where the grad ceremony was being held, it struck me that every single one of those kids there that night, were now accomplished young adults – each in their own right.

When the principal was speaking, I knew he was trying to impress upon the graduates his wisdom and years of garnered knowledge.

What he didn’t realize was how much he also impressed it upon me. His words held advice we should all heed: 

  • Leave the world a better place than how you found it.
  • Be grateful. Show gratitude in the big, the small and everyday life.
  • Be accountable for your actions.
  • Make mistakes … but learn from them.

As I looked out over the 300 plus graduates (and that was just half of them. The other half of the alphabet had their ceremony earlier), I couldn’t help but nod along at what was being said.

These are the Y2K babies. Remember the whole Y2K thing? It was spoken of with awe and questions. No one knew what a new century would bring … 

Well, these “babies” have grown up – and now we’re all on the cusp of what they decide.

Their real learning starts now as they head out to forge their paths. Courtesy of the internet, this group of up and comers is one of the most worldly and intelligent generations.

I like this generation of kids. Yes, because I have a couple, but also because these guys are going to change the world.

They grew up fast, but we made them. They have more knowledge at this age than my generation has now in our 40s.

They’re open-minded. They’re accepting. They’re entrepreneurial. They’re outspoken. They’re adaptable. But most importantly, they’re themselves.

They’re what every prior generation has strived to be — and they’re nailing it.

Growing up and maturing is weird. You don’t realize how hard it is till you get through it and look back.

So what can we do to ease them into it? Well, nothing really. Their experiences will be theirs to live, their lives theirs to lead.

All we need to do is let them teach us.

Thanks for reading.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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