The Grad at Grad
The Strake Jesuit graduate is approaching the threshold of young adulthood. Leaving the world of childhood behind has involved anxiety and embarrassment, and taking fearful first steps into sexual identity, independence, first love or first job. It has also involved physical, emotional, and mental development that brought out strengths, abilities, and characteristics adults and peers began to appreciate. During the four years prior to graduation he began to realize he could do some things well, sometimes very well, like playing basketball, acting, writing, doing math, fixing or driving cars, making music, or making money. There have also been failures and disappointments. Even these, however, have helped the student to move toward maturity.
Fluctuating between highs and lows of fear and confidence, love and loneliness, confusion and success, the Strake Jesuit student at graduation has negotiated during these years many of the difficulties of adolescence. On the other hand, the graduate has not reached the maturity of the college senior. During his senior year of high school, especially, he is beginning to awaken to complexity, to discover many puzzling things about the adult world. He does not understand why adults break their promises, or how the economy "works," or why there are wars, or what power is and how it ought to be used. Yet he is old enough to begin framing the questions. And so, as some of the inner turmoil of the past few years begins to settle, he looks out on the adult world with a sense of wonder, anxious to enter that world, yet still unable to make sense of it. He is more and more confident among his peers; he can more easily read the clues of the youth culture of which he is a part. Furthermore, he is independent enough to choose his response. As for the adult world, he is still a "threshold person," cautiously entering adulthood.
Categories that Compose a Graduate
In describing the graduate, we chose qualities under six general categories that seem desirable not only for this threshold period but also for his adult life. These categories sum up the many aspects or areas of life most in accord with living a Christian life as an adult. Whether we conceive these qualities under the rubric of a "Man for Others" or simply as a developing Christian, they appear to be qualities that characterize the kind of person who can live an adult Christian life in the twenty-first century. By graduation the Strake Jesuit graduate is:
All of the characteristics described are in dynamic interaction; the division into the six categories simply provides a helpful way to describe the graduate.