A year ago today, I graduated high school. Finally, after 13 years of grade school, I was out and free to steer my life by myself.

Graduation day started at 8:45 a.m. in the gymnasium. We all were called down from the bleachers and were seated in alphabetical order and we were assigned rooms where we would line up alphabetically and enter the gym. Everybody sat alphabetically by last name. As soon as everybody was situated, the principal explained the graduation procedure to us and then, we practiced the flow of receiving the diplomas. Then we practiced outside. After returning to the gym, there were throws given to us by the All Night Grad Party committee.

I went home at around 11:30. I rested a few hours then got ready for the ceremony. Excitement filled my veins as I put on my cap and gown. I couldn’t wait to receive my diploma. Dad arrived and we took pictures.

We left the house at around 4:30. I met my aide at the front of the school. We went to the room where we lined up. It was a long wait before we entered the gym, but excitement swelled up in my soul. It was slow, but when we entered the gym, the room was filled with hundreds of people. Music played as we entered the gym and took our seats.

There was speech after speech before the valedictorian and salutatorian spoke. Both speeches were very well written. After that, names started being called row by row and as the next row went up, the previous row went up. Names were called quickly and after awhile, I told my aide I wanted to use my walker. She got me into it and when my name was called, I walked over and as I was walking, the graduates and families stood up simultaneously and gave me a standing ovation. Even the people in the audience stood. I was so amazed at the congratulations I got. I guess I never realized the impression I had on my class. As I walked down the ramp, my picture was taken. On my way back to my seat, somebody stood up to congratulate me once again.

The calling of names continued. Once the ceremony was over, I tried to throw my cap in the air but my aide kept fixing it. After that and receiving my diploma, which was not in the room but upstairs, she gave me white roses.

We headed back to the house and my family was over and my aide came over for a bite to eat. I left with her for the all night party at quarter to 11. I stayed until 2 a.m. After leaving the party, my life without strings began and the wheel was in my hands.

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