First, congratulations on graduating high school. It doesn’t seem like it’s time for you to graduate. Not long ago, we were just kids playing outside. Now, we are both adults in the eyes of society and have plenty of responsibilities that come with it. You were supposed to stay little. But here you are graduating and growing up into an amazing, intelligent, kind young woman who inspires me to be a better person. You are the reason that I am who I am today. Knowing I was supposed to set a good example for you, is the reason I am who I am today. Now, you’re graduating with a GPA higher than mine and I couldn’t be more proud.
I’m so proud of you for working as hard as you have and always doing everything to the best of your ability. It inspires me to work hard in all that I do every day. I’m proud of you for overcoming any obstacle in your path and proving to so many people that you can do anything you set your mind to. I’m proud of you for continuing your education even if it’s at a different college than me. I’m very proud of you for continuing to be 100 percent yourself throughout the last four years. At that age, everyone is trying to figure who they are and who they want to be, but you stayed true to who you are without a doubt. I admire you for that. High school can be a rough time in life, but there are a few good things to remember about it as you move on to the next chapter of your life.
As you’re sitting down in those fold-able chairs with your peers, listening to teachers and valedictorians give speeches, take a second to look around at the people you’ve spent the last four years with. Take in the sight of all the graduation caps; this is the only time you graduate high school. This is the last time all of you will be in one place at one time. You may not be friends with all of them and you may have a bumpy past with a few of them, but, like the friends that have come and gone, they’ve all been a part of your high school experience. Whether you like it or not, you take those experiences through life and the lessons learned help you navigate through the real world.
Sometimes in high school, you meet people that will go with you through life. You, my dear sister, are one of the lucky ones. You met not only your best friend, other than me of course, but your true love. It’s nice to know that you have someone who loves you and wants to see you succeed as much as I do; someone who can protect you and be there for you. I truly appreciate him and his family and how much they care for you, no matter how much I mess with him. (Don’t tell him I like him. It won’t be as much fun to aggravate him if he knows.) I can’t wait to see how you both succeed in the future.
If there were ever any advice I could give you for the future, then I would tell you not be in a hurry to grow up too quickly. By all means do the adult-stuff that you need to do, but don’t forget to stop and breathe sometimes. Don’t forget that sometimes it’s OK to not know what to do next. You’ll make mistakes and it will be OK. It’s a part of life. The years transitioning from late adolescence to early adulthood are some of the best years of your life. Make some memories to take with you in life.
High school can be rough and weird and awkward, but you’ve navigated it beautifully. You are intelligent and mature and I’m extremely proud of you and who you’ve become. From a crazy yet adorable little eight-year-old that wasn’t supposed to grow up to the incredible young woman you are today. I’m lucky to have you by my side. Life is amazing with you on the ride. I can’t wait to see all that you accomplish in the future. I have no doubts there will be many more congratulations in store.
Congratulations on graduating, sister. I love you more than you will ever know.
Your Big Sister