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Lessons From My Favorite High School Graduate

haileyLast week my eldest niece graduated from high school. An honor student, she plans to attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall. I am crushed that she will be so far from home; yet I know she will flourish there. As I was taking part in all the festivities over the weekend, I thought about some of what I learned from her.

  1. Set goals and work to achieve them. She is a very goal-focused young woman and persevered to accomplish those goals, whether that was achieving high marks or working to improve her times on the cross country team or completing a quilt to hang in my guild’s show.
  2. Keep balance in your life. She wasn’t an all-school and no-fun kind of girl. I saw plenty of videos she created with her friends and cousins to know that she found something outside school that challenged her and brought joy into her life. And, as required for graduation in our county, she took part in community service activities.
  3. Celebrate your achievements. She had a list of ways to celebrate the diploma – an afternoon in DC after graduation, a graduation night dinner, another celebration dinner on Saturday, and joining her mom on an overseas business trip later in June.
  4. Be grateful. First thing Sunday morning, she sent us all a text thanking her family  for being there to help her celebrate this achievement and for supporting her along the way.
  5. Keep a sense of humor. In the text she thanked us for being in the first 17.667 years of her life and wishing we will be there for the next 17.667, which would bring her to 35.334.

I know lots of you have family graduations around this time. What did you learn from your graduate? Leave a reply below, or log onto to Facebook and leave a comment.

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