Congratulations on graduating from Upper Arlington High School, Rafe! I know that it was one heck of a journey getting here, and that you’re excited for the next step. I’m excited to see what happens next, too! But before we jump headfirst into the unknown adventures of college, I want to make sure you take a second and feel proud of the amazing feats that you’ve already accomplished. 

Graduating highschool is hard. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you twice. It’s even harder when the world shifts under your feet and you find yourself navigating online classes on top of the usual stress of grades, colleges, scholarships, and the millions of people giving you advice on where to go and what to do.

Getting through your senior year of highschool under that kind of pressure is truly incredible and amazing, Rafe. You’ve got such strength and resilience, and I know that that’s going to serve you well no matter where you choose to go.

As you go, I also want you to remember that you’re not alone on your journeys. Leaving home is a grand adventure, and I want you to make the most of meeting all the people you can in college (be it in-person or online), but you’ve also got people here cheering you on. You’ve got your mom cheering you on, and people like me here to take your pictures, and so many people cheering you on from the sidelines that you can’t even imagine the amount of support coming your way. And with a team like that, and enough excitement to carry you through the tough parts, there’s nothing in the world that can stop you. I can’t wait to see who you become. 

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