“Just wait and see
Maybe I’ll write like Twain wrote
Maybe I’ll paint like Van Gogh
Cure the common cold, I don’t know
But I’m ready to start, cause I know in my heart
I wanna do somethin’ that matters, say somethin’ different
Somethin’ that sets the whole world on its ear.”
~Kristin Chenoweth, “I Was Here”
This past weekend marked seven years since I graduated from college. In a couple more weeks, it will be eleven years since I received my high school diploma. I seriously cannot comprehend how that’s even possible. And just in case those two things aren’t making me feel old enough … my student teaching classes, the bright and bubbly sixth graders who taught me as much as I taught them, are now mature and dedicated twelfth graders who are about to enter a whole new world. Yesterday was their Senior Awards Night, and though I was back at my old high school for a different reason – to be there as my eleventh grade AP English teacher found out about the new award we’ve created in her honor as she retires at the end of this school year – it was also awesome to see “my” kids again. Some look the same. Some look different. All are now taller than me (which, granted, isn’t hard to achieve, but still!). Though I was only a daily part of their LM experience for half a year, I was so proud to see them accept their awards and to hear about the accomplished, hard-working, generous, and giving young men and women they have become. It got me thinking – as they graduate from high school now, what advice would I give them? To stand up for themselves and fight for what they believe in most. To follow their dreams and know that passion is always possible. To go out into the world and do well, but also to go out into the world and do good. And I hope these are the songs they take to heart …
“I Was Here” – Kristin Chenoweth:
“Breakaway” – Kelly Clarkson:
“The Middle” – Lauren Alaina:
“Best Days” – Graham Colton:
Truly, these are messages which can inspire us all – whether we’re graduating today, whether we’re graduating years from now, or whether we’ve graduated years ago. The great thing about life? We can constantly reinvent ourselves and consistently pursue our passions. Because we should all “wanna do somethin’ that matters.” We should all “do what it takes ’til we touch the sky.” We should all “take each day and make it last.” We should all “make the best of tonight.” We should all remember our pasts, embrace our tomorrows, and live – really, truly, live out loud – our todays.
What songs would you suggest to a new graduate? What songs were your anthem when you graduated? I remember loving Vitamin C’s “Graduation” in high school and both Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” and Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” in college.