SIMULTANEOUS graduation rites will take place this week from kindergarten to senior high school. Restaurants will be filled (‘Goodtaste’ will beat them all).

With the joy of crossing another finish line comes the baffling reality of facing the next stage. But before we jump on to find out what’s next, let’s just relish this moment.

Graduation or completion manifest students’ patience, intelligence, and perseverance. School is never easy. Yes, it gives one unexplainable happiness with the company of friends, the new discovery of knowledge, and the heart-popping encounter with first loves but it also makes one deals with pressures.

Students get confused with the complex realities of growing up, the pressures of completing subject requirements, the problems with friends and other relationship, and levelling up to the expectation of family and culture.

If you know someone who will receive his/her diploma this week or any other week, show your appreciation. Whatever your trip is, either a handshake or a hug, a tap on the shoulder or a pat on the back, a smack on the cheek or a kiss on the forehead, a five-second holler or a knee-high jump, show your admiration.

Parents must be the happier ones. Graduation of their children proves a lot of things. It’s a fulfillment of their duty that is to send their children to school and ensure that they finish. It speaks how they put high value on education.

Parents must be strong. It’s easy to send children to school. It’s harder to keep them there until dismissal. It is a test of character of the parents who do supporting role in the completion of their children.

Others easily give up and entrust to the teachers the entire disciplining. It’s a sign of weakness because they know they have bigger responsibility in keeping their children inside the classrooms on class hours. When parents do not give up, they will harvest the fruit of their labor this week, graduation. Congratulations to the parents!

Finishing what was started always requires determination. There are many students who will not march this school year’s graduation exercises because they got carried away with distractions. The bad influence of fake friends tops the list of reasons why these many couldn’t make it to the stage. Some students can’t be blamed. They were just too overwhelmed with problems that they couldn’t concentrate in school.

Parents must take the bigger share of blame. Many students, however, must accept that they are liable. Teachers and parents would talk to them and explain the implication of absenteeism, cutting class, or straying away during school hours yet they couldn’t take them in their hearts. Perhaps another year in school can awaken them. Parents must not lose their spirit. The extension in school may benefit their children in the long run.

With graduation and completion, the hope of parents and country is alive. Parents always believe that through education, they can outrun poverty in the future. Older children who graduate are expected by parents to help them with financial obligations once they land a job. The country sees more assets in these graduates.

Graduation means more productive workforce. With the first graduation of the senior high school, more skilled youth are expected to join the work industry. The country can rely on them with the “build, build, build” program of the government. They are deemed capacitated to enter tertiary level with newly acquired skills and deeper comprehensive abilities provided by senior high school education.

Teachers must also find time to celebrate. Never mind if not a student come to you and say thank you. The job is to let them finish and the job is done. Their gratitude is just a consolation of this job. What do people do after doing a well done job? They rejoice and give thanks for the sustenance given to them in fulfilling this responsibility.

Many people couldn’t stay long as teachers and educators because the job is too demanding. It takes many of the teacher’s time. The time for the family and self is sacrificed. Graduation is a primary testament of the nobility of this job.

We only hope that our graduates today especially senior high schools and college students realize the greater responsibility they have now. The country is having a positive run economically, the youth is encouraged to support this uphill run by becoming productive. If teenagers are not attending school and are jobless, they become liabilities, not assets.

If every graduate student either continue their study or be absorbed in the workforce, they become productive. Productivity means progress. We also hoped that not only these new graduates become more skilled but more so become mature in their moral attitude. They must now know how to distinguish helpful values and endeavor to possess them for the good of self, others, country, and God.

For every little good thing in life, says an advertisement, cheers. Graduation is more than a little good thing, it is a huge part of life.

It is momentous.

Not only we celebrate in reaching another finish line, it’s commemorating with joy the experiences of students, both sad and joyful. It is relishing the happiness of overcoming the challenges of education. It is a celebration for surpassing the financial struggles and petty quarrels they had with their parents for different reasons. They are all part of the past now and what they have is their diploma, the testimony of their determination.

Let’s just be happy for them and be inspired. They might be inspired too to live the four core values of the Department of Education (Maka-tao, Maka-kalikasan, Maka-bansa, at Maka-Diyos).