I can’t believe it has now been half a decade since I graduated from Wilson High School. But so it is, and with that in mind, I have some advice for Wilson’s graduating class of 2013.Dakessian

Do take the time to thank the teachers who made your high school experience a positive one. As Student Columnist Bridget Lawson notes in her final piece (“Waving goodbye to Wilson,” Page 14), getting through high school and senior year can seem like a race to the finish line, and in the confused blur of fevered lucubration, it can be easy to forget those who helped you along the way. But while you’re looking at high school in the rearview mirror, your teachers remain. Let them know they’re appreciated, and give them a reason to keep helping generations of students to come.

Don’t miss the final bell of your senior year: In much the same way as the traditional tossing of the mortarboards at commencement, jubilantly throwing a year’s worth of handouts and homework assignments up in the air to mix with those of your fellow graduates is a rite of passage. Just remember to help clean up afterward.

Do be sure to have your yearbook signed by those with whom you’ve shared a tacit connection despite running in different social circles. During those last few weeks of high school, social divides are less stringent, and hearts are more open. Sharing such candor will give you a sense of closure, leaving you with no regrets about high school, and at the very least, slightly less dread about the reunion 10 years down the road.

Don’t be afraid to briefly get out of formation and meet up with your best friend for a moment while you wait in the wings for the commencement exercises to begin. My comically unwarranted fear of having my diploma revoked at the eleventh hour kept me from leaving my fellow “D” graduates and having the professional graduation photographer snap a picture of me with my best friend, who stood with the “L’s.” Don’t make that same mistake. This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Share it, and celebrate it.

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