For the Grads of 2012, and All Future Grads!

Hi, I am Gina Omilon! I am 18 years old and have just graduated from high school! I am currently Miss Teen Red Deer-World 2012 and my platform is Confidence through Education so I am writing a congratulatory post for all of the 2012 grads this year! Graduation is definitely one of the most exciting nights of your life and I cannot wait for mine! I would like to give some advice to those who are still attending high school and for those who have just wrapped up!

For Grade 9 to Grade 11, enjoy high school! I was that little girl always wishing to grow up, and now I wish I wasn’t “grown up.” Take in each school assembly, spirit day or pep rally. Remember all of those silly moments with friends and the hard ones too. Breathe in that horrible smell of the gym at least once, but never stand in the middle of the hallway during a class switch. Don’t just go from class to class, but try to get to know people along the way, especially your teachers! Teachers can be your best friend, and I know for me personally, many teachers were my best friend in high school! My performing arts teachers and science teachers were always there for me and helped me whenever I needed them. I always had a teacher I could go talk to, and know that they would keep everything confidential. Participate in school spirit days, even if you think it is lame. Most important, don’t spend your entire high school career trying to be “popular.” I know from experience that on the very last minute of your very last day, everyone instantly forgets who was “popular.” Popular is just a word that has a skewed meaning and it truly means nothing. If you have a great group of friends and are comfortable with who YOU are, then do not worry about anything else! Just enjoy your friends and the best 4 years of your life! 10 years after graduation you’ll be at your reunion and everyone will forget who was popular. They WILL remember who was nice, who was modest, had morals, and respected themselves and others. In short, value yourselves and others, don’t worry about popularity or who has the coolest clothes, be yourself, and don’t take any memories for granted! For the grade 11’s specifically, enjoy your senior year! It goes faster than any other year you have ever had! Trust me!

For the graduating Grade 12’s, wow! We made it this far! I know that I can’t give loads of advice because I am on the same page as you, but if there was anything I’d like for everyone to remember, it would be this: Never give up on your dreams. If you want something, go and get it. Work hard and do not quit. Don’t listen to anyone who says you “can’t!” I HATE that word. Anything is possible, and if you believe in yourself, it will be ten times easier! Do not go to college for something you do not want to be, or feel like you are being forced to be. Follow YOUR dreams and nobody else’s!  If you did not like the person you were in high school, that is fine! Whether or not you want to make amends, feel free to change! You don’t have to be that person forever! Be whoever you want to be now! Always try to become a better person and never settle for less than the best. Go out and explore the world; go overseas and see culture and architecture that is so very different from North America. Be spontaneous and adventurous, but still be smart and logical. Now that school is done, your horizon of opportunity has widened massively! There is so much you can do so don’t take advantage of that. Be optimistic, be positive and always see the good in everything that happens. Be strong and loyal to yourself. Don’t ever let anyone take advantage of you, but find forgiveness for them if they do. Let go of any high school grudges. I know this can be hard, even for me. I wasn’t popular in school, but always had a mean group of girls ready to make fun of anything I did. It’s still hard for me to talk about because it is really difficult to go to school every day and be yourself when you know someone is always laughing in the background. But I have forgiven them and have let go of it. We’re graduated now. We can’t hold onto grudges forever! In the very end, high school will be a mere dot on the chart of life. In short, just live everyday! Live! We are all so young and have so much time ahead of us. Let’s make the best of it. Congratulations for making it this far Graduates of 2012! You did it! We did it!

That is really all the advice I have. After 12 years of education (or 13 if we include kindergarten), I realize it was not the marks and grades that should have been my biggest worry. And, in grade 12 I figured that out. But for those who have not, I tell you from experience: Getting 90’s is GREAT! I will never argue that because even until my last day of school I was working hard in all of my classes to be at a 90% and I needed 90’s for university. But, if you do not do well on one test, don’t worry about it. In a year, that test will have been long forgotten! Also, never miss family functions to study! Each Halloween my family has a big get together and I missed studying for a major final the next day to hang out with my family. I did not do good on that final the next day AT ALL, but I do not remember my specific mark. I DO remember all the laughs and bonding time I had with my family though. So as important as the high grades are, make sure you have time to breathe and have fun within high school! It will make it much more enjoyable, trust me!

Grade 9 to 11; enjoy your last years in high school! I wish you all the luck in the future. To every single graduate, congratulations! You are only now beginning your life and I hope everything you ever want, comes to you. Show the world what the Class of 2012 is made of! Live everyday; Just live!