Graduation is more than walking across a platform to get handed a diploma: it’s a rite of passage, an end of an era, a new beginning, a great accomplishment, and a grand entrance into the big, bad, beautiful world we live in. With all of the friends that you’ve accumulated over the years sitting beside you and your family filming from the stands, it’s a day of mixed emotions… to say the least. When the day finally comes, it’s totally normal to swing from mood to mood at any given moment; you’ve earned a free pass to do so! You’ve made it–you’re done! Summer starts the minute you throw that grad cap in the air, but before you do, expect these six stages of Graduation Day emotions to come bubbling up out of nowhere:

1. Exhilaration.

[Source: Giphy]

It’s all happening, this is it! School was hard, and now you’re free to do whatever you please! No more homeroom, no more restrictions on the adult you want to become. You and your friends have your whole future ahead of you (not to mention an awesome Senior Summer), and it all starts TODAY.

2. Nostalgia.

[Source: Giphy]

You kind of felt it during yearbook signing day, but now you’re really reflecting on all the good times high school brought to your life: pep rallies, home games, dances, random celebrations, field trips, and funny classroom moments. Wait a minute–this wasn’t so bad… why did we want to power through it to the end again?

3. Disbelief.

[Source: Giphy]

Hold on, hold on… this can’t be the end. This is not real life. It’s going by so fast: I just sat down, and now my name is already about to be called. High school can’t be over, my friends aren’t going to move away in the fall… nothing’s going to change.

4. Fear.

[Source: Giphy]

Oh no, everything is changing! What are you going to do with your life now? What if you hate college, what if you fail? What if you never see some of your friends again, or they completely change next year? You might not actually be friends forever? Oh no, you’ve heard your name–what if you trip and fall onstage right now? Don’t trip and fall. You’ve got this.

5. Confidence.

[Source: Giphy]

Walking to the stage, you get this weird wind of overwhelming confidence: you’ve earned this, you’re the best! Shake the hand, strike a pose. You’re the smartest person alive!! Just listen to that applause and cheers! You can do anything in this world! Crushing it, you return to your seat.

6. Grad-itude.

[Source: Giphy]

You’re so happy and grateful for everyone that has helped and supported you to get you to this wonderful day. You have the best of friends, and you wouldn’t know what to do without them. You feel so elated that you might even make an Oscar acceptance-like speech tonight while you celebrate your success! I want to thank the Academy, and all of my fans for such an honor…

From Omni Cheer to you, congratulations Seniors!
May your future be bright and full of opportunity. Feel free to do one of these on your way off school grounds:

[Source: Giphy]

What other emotions did you feel on Graduation Day? Share your story in the comments!