Another year, another 8th grade graduation, another trio of tips from a local alderman. This time Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward Alderman, shared three things for our graduates to remember when they get to high school - and, like last year, these three things are applicable at any time, not just during commencements.
It took our 8th graders about 13 years to reach this milestone, and in another 13, they could be aldermen & women (Rosa is 27). That's how quickly life goes. Wherever you are right now, and however long it took to get there, in the same amount of time or less, you're probably going to be somewhere completely different. I think about this all the time - a year ago, did I imagine I'd be where I am now? 99% of the time, the answer is nope, in a good way.
Similarly, right now (at age 13) our students have to ask to go to the bathroom. In less than 13 years (probably closer to 4 or less), they'll be expected to take care of that on their own without needing adult supervision or a bathroom pass. And they'll be on to even bigger things - they'll be able to drive, vote, have jobs, and BE adults. We don't stay in middle school or high school or college forever. Things change.
Rosa knew his audience - this tip got plenty of applause and a few whistles. But outside of an auditorium filled with parents, it's still sound advice. Whether it's our own parents or other trusted parent-like adults, we all have mentors we look up to - people who were in our shoes 20 or 30 or 40 years ago and who have lived through the experiences we're about to embark on. They have words of wisdom to share, as long as we listen.