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Alexis Jane Torre Headshot

For the Class of 2012

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I remember our first senior assembly about graduation back in December. I remember how our principal explained that being able to walk in the ceremony was a privilege. And I remember how he said that graduation is "not all about you" to our entire senior class. At the time, he was met with boos and jeers. I could understand why my classmates were upset upon hearing this -- it seemed only logical that our graduation would be focused on us. But with the graduation ceremony is less than a week away, I finally understand what he meant.

Over the past four years, we've worked hard to pass our classes, excel on standardized tests, apply for scholarships and get accepted into colleges/universities. But we were not working alone to graduate and head off to college, a career or the military. We had the support of people who believed in us and pushed us to try our hardest and challenge ourselves. We had our parents and friends who encouraged us to apply for that job or run for an officer position. We had our teachers and counselors who helped us when we were struggling with a lesson and needed to decide what courses were right for us. Over the course of our high school careers, we have been fortunate enough to have had at least one person who had faith in us, even when we did not have faith in ourselves.

Personally, I've been nothing less than lucky to have such supportive friends, family, teachers and counselors. And before graduation, I'm hoping to let them know just how thankful I am for their motivation and advice. I need to thank my parents for being understanding when I'm stressing out. I need to thank my friends for giving me confidence boosts when I need them. I need to thank my Spanish teacher for pushing me to join the IB program and my math teacher for convincing me to complete it. I need to thank my English teacher for not only giving lectures and notes but also for giving me life advice. And I definitely need to thank my counselor for helping me choose classes, apply for scholarships and decide on the right college. Needless to say, my list of those that I need to give "thank you" cards to is getting pretty long.

So as the night of graduation approaches, I'll be working hard on gifts and notes of appreciation for my parents, teachers, friends and counselors. And as I get handed my diploma and move my tassel from right to left, I'll know that this moment is not solely mine, but is the result of support from many people who kindly chose to help me when they had the option not to. Class of 2012, I hate to say this, but it really isn't all about us.