From left, Tia Moore, Katie Kalke and Brienna Ashton are graduating this week. (Photo contributed)

Leah Blain’s Friends & Neighbours column: Facing the dilemma of graduation

After a dozen years of school, freedom can be daunting

This past week is always a strange dichotomy for grads.

While they cram and stress over final exams, they are also getting ready for the festive grad activities. They are sad this part of their life is over and excited about what lies ahead. Well, maybe not totally excited.

“More scared,” says Brienna Ashton. “It’s surreal.”

Katie Kalke agrees: “School is ending – 13 years. My whole life I’ve been going to school.”

But there are plenty of happier subjects to talk about. Their dresses, for instance.

“I got my dress in Vernon, it’s red,” says Katie.

“Mine is mostly white with coral on it,” says Brienna.

“On mine the bottom is white and the top is pink and white,” says Tia.

The cost of their dresses were about the same – $600.

They are confident no one is going to show up in the same one because the girls post pictures of their dresses so that won’t happen.

Tia mentions the forecast calls for rain on their grad day.

“There’s umbrellas, I guess,” says Brienna, who checks her phone to see if there might be a more positive update.

Of course a big part of grad day is simply getting ready.

“My oldest brother’s girlfriend is doing my hair and makeup,” says Brienna smiling. “She’s really good.”

“I’m getting my nails done and my hair but I do my own makeup,” says Katie. “It would feel weird to have someone else do my makeup.”

“I would be too scared to do my own makeup,” says Tia. “I’m going to the Chopping Crew to get my hair and makeup done.”

(Her friends mention Tia is in the Chopping Crew commercial that is shown at the Salmar).

Related: In photos – Salmon Arm Secondary grad 2018

As they look back on their 13 years of education, is there anything they would do differently? Oh yes, there are regrets even at the age of 17.

“When I went to high school I did all academics – I’d probably do that differently. I could have had more fun,” says Katie.

“I probably would have done more classes instead of taking spares,” says Brienna.

Katie agrees: “Yeah, it’s nice to spend as much time with your grad class as you can.”

“I would have stayed in French – that would have been a good idea,” Brienna adds.

“I would have taken more Spanish,” says Tia.

For the summer, Brienna will work at her father’s store (Ashton’s Floor Covering Centre); Tia will continue her job as a lifeguard at the pool and Katie will find work.

They all expect to go on to higher education, but they’re not in a hurry and they are eager to see a bit of the world. The desired destinations include: Ireland, England, Italy, Fiji, Greece and the Maldives.

“I want to see the northern lights,” says Brienna. “That’s a goal of mine.”

As to their long-term plans, all three want to come back to the place they love best.

“I want to travel and come back here,” says Tia. “I want to be a teacher. I did a practicum at Bastion. Now the kids come up and hug me – it’s so cute.”

“Having a family is my long-term goal,” says Brienna. “I want to have a stable job – something creative, I don’t like office stuff.”

“I never wanted to be rich,” says Katie. “I want to be comfortable and have lots of animals: dogs, goats, llamas, chickens and pigs. I would love to travel to other places but end up here. When I have a family, I want to raise them here.”

“When you’re younger you want to leave but when you get older, you realize how nice it is,” says Brienna.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

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