As the oldest of four siblings, I was the first one to don a cap and gown, walk down the long aisle to receive my high school diploma, and then move my yellow tassel from right to left, in a moment of excitement and absolute terror for the big scary world ahead. It was definitely a significant moment in my life, but it was also an important thing for my younger siblings to see as well.
When you’re deep in the trenches of middle school science projects and math tests, it can be hard to see the ultimate goal ahead of you, a reason to try your best. After all, what do you care if Mrs. Goldstein liked your essay or not? (Unless you were a complete people-pleaser like me.)
But that is exactly why the “Senior Walk” done by a local high school in Van, Texas is so amazing. Before this year’s high school graduation, the entire graduating class of the Van Independent School District (Van ISD) took a walk through the town’s elementary, intermediate, and middle schools to not only give the seniors a sense of achievement, but to inspire those younger than them as well.
In the photos of the walk posted to Van ISD’s Facebook page on Wednesday, all of the bright-eyed little kids can be seen lining up on the sides of their hallway, cheering and high-fiving the soon-to-be graduates.
I can only imagine what a strong impact this moment has on the younger students — to see the big kids (who, let’s face it, seemed like the coolest people ever) walk down the halls of the school they attended just a few years before.
Senior Ashley Mosley described the experience: “I never knew how much of an influence we had on the younger kids, but seeing their faces light up as we walked through their halls and high-fived them, it really put it in perspective for me. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Another student, Elizabeth Horton also commented, “Walking through the halls of the schools and waving to all the little ones brought me so much joy. It is an incredible thing to know that so many young people look up to us seniors.”
As sweet as it is to have parents and teachers acknowledge your achievement, there’s a different level of pride you feel when you have someone younger in your life that looks up to you. I most definitely had that from my siblings, and I’m glad that the Van ISD graduates got to experience that as well.
And as it just so happens, my own sister is graduating this year, too. So after hearing this story, I’m going to take at least partial credit.