This weekend my bride and I will celebrate an event 22 years in the making. Our son, Dan, and our soon-to-be-daughter, Kelli, will graduate from college on Sunday. I am exceeding proud of them both.
First, not every high school graduate is college material and others opt for alternate paths. Of those that head off to college, many are not cut out for the rigors of academia’s next level or lack the life skills to actually go to class and apply themselves. Then there are those who change their major along the way — sometimes multiple times. Lastly, there is the increasing phenomenon of being a “fifth year senior.” Indeed some colleges seemingly count on that; it is quite common at our local State University. Even for Dan, this was a threat. Had he taken his first engineering class the first time it was offered and not taken any class without its prerequisites, he would have required nine semesters (four and a half years) to graduate.
We spent many hours pouring over the class materials and degree requirements in order to devise “the four year plan” (only bypassing one prerequisite in the process). Poor Dan heard “the four year plan” so often that surely it caused him much ire and consternation, but he kindly let dear old dad continue to proclaim it. Just recently, however, that mantra changed to “finish strong”; I didn’t want the beckoning of life’s post-college future to get in the way the present.
Indeed, he stuck to the four-year plan and he finished strong. On Sunday, we will celebrate that reality — before we quickly segue into the next event that will also be 22 years in the making, a wedding six days later.
Congratulations Dan and Kelli — on your degrees and your nuptials.