Graduation season can be bittersweet

Years ago, as I was nearing my own high school graduation, a friend of my mother’s sent me one of those tiny gift books filled with sentimental quotes.

You know the type: They have clouds or soft-focus trees on the cover, italic printing and pastel colors.

The card that accompanied the book made a longer-lasting impression than the book itself.

Along with the pre-printed message offering hope for the future, the friend had written a message and called graduation “a bittersweet time.”

I didn’t grasp the meaning immediately, but in the intervening years I always think about that word — bittersweet.

One of the word’s definitions is something “producing or expressing a mixture of pain and pleasure.”

Many students find a special bond with their classmates in the final days leading to graduation. They’re united, the class is “together” and finally works as a single unit.

Then they realize that in a few short days or hours, they’ll scatter to the four winds. They’ll never have quite the same relationship with their classmates.

Some will stay in town and see each other frequently. Others will move away to college, the military or work.

Time will pass and they’ll grow apart.

I wish the best to our graduating seniors and hope you will find happiness and peace in the life that will come after your own bittersweet moment.

Dee Camp is a reporter at The Chronicle. She can be reached via email at


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